Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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 Brazil. EU leaders are sympathetic to Brazil's call following the revelations of fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that showed the agency also eavesdropped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone and some EU institutions. "We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don't want businesses to be spied upon," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told a joint news conference with the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.

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goatman

 

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FTA:

U.S. President Barack Obama has since banned spying on the leaders of close allies, but trust has been damaged.
0bama went on a world apology tour when he took office to apologize for things Bush had done. I wonder when he's going on another one to apologize for the things he has done that furthered any lack of trust the rest of the world had in us?

#1 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-24 12:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

Good for Brazil and the EU. I don't blame them. If nothing else, the NSA, CIA, DHS and FBI have demonstrated that they will respect NO boundaries. Domestic or foreign. I despise the extreme levels our lawmakers (Both Republican and Democrat) have allowed the intelligence agencies to abuse technology to spy on all people.

#2 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-02-24 12:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

"That furthered any lack of trust the rest of the world had in us"

Ahh. Remember way back when, like in 2004, when the regular dingdongs didn't seem to care what "rest of the world" thought about us.

It's rhetorical of course, those of us who aren't ideological sock puppets can acknowledge this convenient change in position. Do you really think any of the "personally responsible" would admit that they championed the very same business they now whine about? Not on your life.

#3 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-02-24 12:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Guess these folks never heard of Operation Ivy Bells.

#4 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-02-24 04:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

Guess these folks never heard of Operation Ivy Bells.

#4 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis

Shhhhhhh!

-NSA

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-02-24 07:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

Who's butt? Halibut!

#6 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-02-24 11:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

Now there's another fine mess President Constitutional Professor has got us into to.

#7 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-24 11:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

On the other hand...

"0bama went on a world apology tour when he took office to apologize for things Bush had done"

...is standard rightwing BS.

#8 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-24 11:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder how difficult it would be for the NSA to hack this subsea cable.

#9 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-24 11:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder how difficult it would be for the NSA to hack this subsea cable.

Pretty much impossible. Unlike Operation Ivy Bells which tapped a copper cable, this cable will undoubtedly be fiber optic. Copper puts out EMF that can be detected. Fiber of course does not. It is impossible to "see" fiber signals unobtrusively.

#10 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 12:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

I guess they'll have to tap it at the terminators... much drier anyway.

#11 | Posted by REDIAL at 2014-02-25 12:03 AM | Reply | Flag:

It's not impossible to tap fiber:

en.wikipedia.org

#12 | Posted by DoofusOfDeath at 2014-02-25 01:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

It doesn't matter if they run their own line. Once you are in the network itself you can access the data flowing through that line. Are the going to literally cut all communications ties with the US? Doubt it. Besides as Doofus pointed out - tapping fiber is totally possible.

#13 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-02-25 03:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

tapping fiber is totally possible.

No, it's not unless you are at one of the terminating points. And I doubt if either Brazil nor Portugal is going to allow NSA agents into their telecom switching terminals.

#14 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 03:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

To clarify 14: Either be at the terminus or cut the cable. Fiber does not produce EMF or equivalent as copper which you can tap simply by induction and no intrusive measures. Intrusive measures are necessary to tap fiber.

#15 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 03:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Ahh. Remember way back when, like in 2004, when the regular dingdongs didn't seem to care what "rest of the world" thought about us.
It's rhetorical of course, those of us who aren't ideological sock puppets can acknowledge this convenient change in position. Do you really think any of the "personally responsible" would admit that they championed the very same business they now whine about? Not on your life." CHIEF

And what was your position "way back when"? We can all rest assured that none of your positions have waived in the slightest, can't we? Or, is the mere presence of some hypocrites enough to legitimize the actions of the NSA/FBI/CIA/DHS under this administration?

#16 | Posted by jwil72 at 2014-02-25 03:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

Now that obama is president the rest of the world will love and respect the US, Ha!

#17 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-02-25 03:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

Now that obama is president the rest of the world will love and respect the US, Ha!

#17 | Posted by MSgt

At least he is not throwing up in their laps while stealing their data. I am sure they appreciate that.

#18 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-02-25 03:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

"To clarify 14: Either be at the terminus or cut the cable. Fiber does not produce EMF or equivalent as copper which you can tap simply by induction and no intrusive measures. Intrusive measures are necessary to tap fiber.
#15 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 03:13 PM"

While it is true that fiber optics do not produce EMF that can be inductively sampled (as in the case of copper wire), it is NOT true that fiber optics can only be sampled at the terminus or by severing the fiber optic. A small amount of light (signal) can be removed by bending the fiber optic at a critical radius. On especially long runs of fiber optic cable (as in this case) it would be very difficult to detect this small amount of loss due to a fraction of the light be 'siphoned off'.

www.thefoa.org

The development of bend-insensitive fiber optic cable has greatly minimized this potential Achilles Heel. However, as with most/all technological advances, ongoing counter-research has likely been (or is being) developed to address the protection that bend-insensitive fiber optic cable.

#19 | Posted by TrueBlue at 2014-02-25 04:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

A small amount of light (signal) can be removed by bending the fiber optic at a critical radius.

How would this be possible on a subsea cable? Indeed, on any cable? The fiber itself has a diameter less than that of a human hair. It is surrounded by a layer of cladding, a buffer, and a jacket, then the cable material itself which in the case of a subsea cable would be braided stainless steel and some very hard plastics for the sheathing, aluminum tape, etc. You are talking about cutting through a couple of inches of cable to get to something 8 microns in diameter (not to mention not cutting through something that small!) and bending it. I simply don't see how that is possible without getting to the terminus.

fiber layers

Also, having spliced fiber before, I can tell you that you never strip it to the fiber itself -- only to the cladding. So even if you were at the terminus you would have to somehow strip the cladding off without disturbing the fiber. (near impossible) to get to the fiber.

#20 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 04:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

cross section of a subsea cable

Keep in mind that what they call the fiber in this illustration is actually the three layers over the fiber in the previous link in previous post

#21 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 04:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Here's a good graphic demonstrating the width of various fiber optic cables (average ~8 microns) and a human hair (89 microns)

Getting to something that small after going through the many layers of a subsea cable without breaking it so that you an put a bend in it and tap it? (keep in mind that to put a bend in it one would have to strip back at least a couple of feet of cable since its bend radius is at least that to bend it enough to get a loop of the fiber)

Good luck!

d3seu6qyu1a8jw.cloudfront.net

#22 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 05:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Not a smidgen of corruption"..another "false controversy"

#23 | Posted by DavetheWave at 2014-02-25 06:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

RE: #22 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 05:14 PM

No doubt it is difficult and likely requires more than a clever technician with pair of Leatherman -----!

"So how does one tap into an underwater cable?

The process is extremely secretive, but it seems similar to tapping an old-fashioned, pre-digital telephone line -- the eavesdropper gathers up all the data that flows past, then deciphers it later.

More than 550,000 miles of flexible undersea cables about the size of garden watering hoses carry all the world's emails, searches, and tweets. Together, they shoot the equivalent of several hundred Libraries of Congress worth of information back and forth every day.

In 2005, the Associated Press reported that a submarine called the USS Jimmy Carter had been repurposed to carry crews of technicians to the bottom of the sea so they could tap fiber optic lines. The easiest place to get into the cables is at the regeneration points -- spots where their signals are amplified and pushed forward on their long, circuitous journeys. "At these spots, the fiber optics can be more easily tapped, because they are no longer bundled together, rather laid out individually," Deutsche Welle reported."

"The British publication PC Pro presented another theory: that slightly bending the cables could allow a receiver to capture their contents.

One method is to bend the cable and extract enough light to sniff out the data. "You can get these little cylindrical devices off eBay for about $1,000. You run the cable around the cylinder, causing a slight bend in cable. It will emit a certain amount of light, one or two decibels. That goes into the receiver and all that data is stolen in one or two decibels of light. Without interrupting transfer flow, you can read everything going on on an optical network," said Everett.

The loss is so small, said Everett, that anyone who notices it might attribute it to a loose connection somewhere along the line. "They wouldn't even register someone's tapping into their network," he added."

www.theatlantic.com

#24 | Posted by TrueBlue at 2014-02-25 06:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

#24 -- I reckon if anyone could do it, it would be the NSA!

#25 | Posted by goatman at 2014-02-25 07:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

The U.S. sent a spy sub into the Soviet Union and placed a tap on their Pacific submarine base undersea cable. It is on display at the KGB museum in Moscow.
If it is made by humans it can be tapped.

#26 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-26 02:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

en.wikipedia.org

#27 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-26 03:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

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