US recommends approving google, meta undersea data cable to Asia


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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