A DOJ committee is worried a cable connecting the US with Hong Kong could be vulnerable to hacking by the Chinese government. The committee said it fears a cable to Hong Kong could be vulnerable to being tapped by the Chinese government, and is particularly concerned by the fact a large investor in the cable was a Hong Kong-based company called Dr. Peng Ltd which it says is the "fourth largest provider of telecommunications services in the PRC [People's Republic of China]."
H/T: Business Insider
According to a release from the DOJ Office of Public Affairs:
PLCN’s high capacity and low latency would encourage U.S. communications traffic crossing the Pacific to detour through Hong Kong before reaching intended destinations in other parts of the Asia Pacific region. The Committee’s recommendation specified that it was not in U.S. national security or law enforcement interests to approve subsea cables landing in PRC territory when the PRC government has previously demonstrated the intent to acquire U.S. persons’ data. The recommendation also explained that PLCN’s proposed Hong Kong landing station would expose U.S. communications traffic to collection by the PRC. Such concerns have been heightened by the PRC government’s recent actions to remove Hong Kong’s autonomy and allow for the possibility that PRC intelligence and security services will operate openly in Hong Kong.
Team Telecom Recommends that the FCC Deny Pacific Light Cable Network System's Hong Kong Undersea Cable Connection to the United States https://t.co/qmTYqSE71D— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) June 17, 2020
Today, Team Telecom recommended that the @FCC partially deny the Pacific Light Cable Network subsea cable system application—specifically a direct link to Hong Kong—on the basis of national security concerns. https://t.co/irFB65H8sZ— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) June 17, 2020
DOJ & other agencies recommend the FCC block undersea cable from LA to Hong Kong due to national security concerns.— Cathy He (@CathyHe_ET) June 17, 2020
Previous reporting showed that Beijing may be intercepting comms from undersea cables in the Asia-Pacific Region. https://t.co/P5Sp5kw9wohttps://t.co/wKZ27crNeA
Pacific Light Cable Network: US-China row moves underwater in cable tangle https://t.co/28pbJQiVO3— BBC Asia (@BBCNewsAsia) June 18, 2020
NEC appointed to build Asia Pacific submarine cable https://t.co/TCEaWmSA99— ZDNet (@ZDNet) June 17, 2020