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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the Take-my-data-and-go-home dept.
c0lo writes: "Reuters reports

(Reuters) Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil's reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia.

At a summit in Brussels, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to "guarantee the neutrality" of the Internet, signaling her desire to shield Brazil's Internet traffic from U.S. surveillance. According to other sources, the construction is scheduled to begin in July.

A joint venture between Brazilian telecoms provider Telebras and Spain's IslaLink Submarine Cables would lay the communications link. Telebras would have a 35 percent stake, IslaLink would have a 45 percent interest and European and Brazilian pension funds could put up the remainder.

So it has come to this"

 
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khakipuce on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:42AM

    by khakipuce (233) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:42AM (#6549)

    But there is quite a bit of difference between having a whole data centre wired into the traffic and having some sort of covert tap with presumably limited bandwidth. Also are modern cables not fiber-optic and so much more difficult to tap covertly?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mojo chan on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:53PM

    by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:53PM (#6579)

    Indeed, the GP underestimates the difficulty of what he is proposing. First you have to get the tap on there without anyone noticing, so basically before it is turned on or there will be an interruption to service. Then you have to deal with cutting edge fibre optics running at very high data rates, which means laying your own similar cable back to the US to carry it all or installing some kind of filtering hardware under the sea. You also have to do all this in such a way that when the cable owner decides to upgrade their fibre optic transceivers at either end to increase the bandwidth 10x your equipment at least fails gracefully and doesn't break the cable. The upgrade may cost them a few million every few years but if you want to keep listening you have to have an on-going state of the art R&D effort to produce new gear for that hostile environment and keep installing/removing it without anyone noticing.

    You also need to hope they don't use an encryption scheme that you can't break, which would ruin your entire effort. The NSA also has to worry about the foreign spies that have infiltrated it* finding out and whistle-blowers leaking information.

    *If Snowden could get all that stuff as a lowly contractor we have to assume foreign intelligence agencies are doing much better.

    --
    const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ezber Bozmak on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:14PM

      by Ezber Bozmak (764) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:14PM (#6752)

      First you have to get the tap on there without anyone noticing, so basically before it is turned on or there will be an interruption to service.

      That is incorrect. Surreptitious tapping only requires that the fibre be bent enough for some photons to escape. That will slightly reduce SNR, but it won't result in a loss of service.

      http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/analysis/1863434/th e-growing-security-risk-fibre-tapping [computing.co.uk]

      • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:44PM

        by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:44PM (#6768)

        Right, but consider what you are proposing. Bend a strand of fibre. In an armoured, waterproof cable containing many strands. A cable designed to keep water out for 100+ years. And then repairing it so that it doesn't fail.

        --
        const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)