US Officials Move To Block Trans-Pacific Cable

US Officials Move To Block Trans-Pacific Cable”

Credit: Pacific Light Data Communication Ltd.The Wall Street Journal reported that the USA government is considering blocking the previously announced 8,000-mile-long Internet cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, called the Pacific Light Cable Network, over national security concerns.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing people involved in the discussion, reported that the cable is being opposed by the US Justice Department (DoJ). People familiar with the review say it is in danger of failing to win the necessary license to conduct business because of the objections coming from the panel, known as Team Telecom.

Much of the almost 8,000 mile-long Pacific Light Cable Network has already been installed along the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean, with commercial service expected to launch near the end of this year.

Both Google and Facebook have yet to issue official responses to this news.

If the United States rejects the undersea cable, it would be the first time it has ever denied an undersea cable license based on national security grounds, reported the WSJ.

Team Telecom's concerns over Pacific Light include Dr. Peng's Chinese-government ties and the declining autonomy of Hong Kong.

The Pacific Light Network would link the parts of mainland China - and, ultimately, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Dr. Peng is China's fourth-biggest telecom operator.

The Justice Department, which is leading a multiagency panel reviewing the effort, has registered "staunch opposition" to the Pacific Light Cable Network, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Team Telecom has approved cable projects in the past - including those involving state-owned Chinese telecom companies - if the companies in charge can show they have taken enough steps to stop foreign governments from blocking or tapping traffic through the cables.

In 2016, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Facebook, Inc.

A map of the cable segments that are part of the PLCN.

The FCC declined to comment on the report.

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