US recommends approving google, meta undersea data cable to Asia

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The Biden administration on Friday recommended Alphabet’s Google and Facebook parent Meta get permission to use an undersea cable system to han-dle growing internet traffic with Asia.

The administration urged the Federal Communica-tions Commission (FCC) to grant licenses for the companies to send and receive data on the existing 8,000-mile Pacific Light Cable Network. The un-dersea fiber-optic cable system connects the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Undersea cables transmit nearly all the world’s internet data traffic. Meta sought permission to use the Phillipines-to-United States portion, while Google has asked for permission to connect to Tai-wan. The companies committed to protect the privacy and security of Americans’ data, particularly against China’s intelligence operations. The plan by Google and Meta abandoned a previous proposal to use the network’s cable to Hong Kong, which is controlled by Beijing. Multiple U.S. gov-ernment agencies recommended blocking that plan in 2020. The Justice Department said the national security agreements with Google and Meta were needed given China’s “sustained efforts to acquire the sen-sitive personal data .—AP

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