Pretty much every consumer and tech company is unhappy with the National Security Agency, which has been spying on millions of people for many years. Well, it turns out that the same companies that are complaining about the NSA’s spying, are actually using fiber optic cables between their data centers. The biggest problem with using these cables is that no matter how secure that data centers are, the cables themselves are not even encrypted.
While it is not proven and is not even part of a Snowden leak, the New York Times has put out its theory suggesting that the NSA is able to gain information from companies like Google and Yahoo simply because they can tap into the fiber lines which are transferring completely unencrypted data, making the NSA’s job incredibly easy.
Many of the cables that are used in between the massive data centers are made by Verizon Communications and Vodafone, but some of the larger companies are using cables made by Level 3 Communications. Level 3, according to NYT, is likely the main target of the NSA’s spying, at least when it comes to tapping into fiber optic lines.
It is not known if Level 3 is actually “helping” the NSA since the agency would still be able to tap into the lines even without the help of the company that makes them. As such, fingers are not really being pointed at Level 3, nor should they be (at least for now.)
The same tech companies that may have been infiltrated as a result of the NSA’s spying on fiber lines are also trying to proclaim their innocence and some, particularly Google, are openly criticizing the NSA.
I want to reiterate what we have said in the past: Yahoo has never given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency. Ever. – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO
Image Credit: Wired