Team Telcom, a Department of Justice committee, is calling on the FCC to cancel part of an undersea cable that links Los Angeles to Hong Kong over Chinese spying fears.
Pacific Light Cable Network
Announced in 2016, the cable is part of the Pacific Light Cable Network. It’s funded in part by Facebook and Google to enable high-speed internet between Los Angeles, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Google said it could achieve 120 terabytes of data per second.
Now, Team Telecom is calling on the FCC to cancel the part of the cable connected to Hong Kong over fears that the Chinese government would tap it and spy on the data connection. A major investor in the cable project is Dr. Peng Ltd., a company based in Hong Kong and is the fourth-largest telecommunications company int he People’s Republic of China.
Concerns that PLCN would advance the PRC government’s goal that Hong Kong be the dominant hub in the Asia Pacific region for global information and communications technology and services infrastructure, which would increase the share of U. S. internet, data, and telecommunications traffic to the Asia Pacific region traversing PRC territory and PRC-owned or -controlled infrastructure before reaching its ultimate destinations in other parts of Asia.
In the other words, Team Telecom is concerned that U.S. data would be more likely to pass through Chinese internet infrastructure because of the cable, even if China wasn’t the original destination of that data. They also noted that the Pacific Light Cable Network is “only one of several pending applications seeking direct connections between the United States and Hong Kong.”