BRICS Cable

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The BRICS Cable is a planned optical fiber submarine communications cable system that carries telecommunications between the BRICS countries, specifically Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.[1] The cable was announced in 2012[1] but is still under construction as of 2015.[2] The project aims to provide bandwidth around the Southern Hemisphere of the globe, and to "ensure that developing nations’ communications are not all in the hands of the nations of the North".[3]

The cable is approximately 34,000 kilometres long, and contains a 2 fibre pair with a 12.8 Tbit/s capacity.[1][4] The cable will be the third-longest cable in the world by the time of its completion.[5] It will interconnect with the WACS cable on the West coast of Africa, and the EASSy and SEACOM cables on the East coast of the continent.[4]

According to The Diplomat, there is a growing wariness among the BRICS countries that when their data traffic goes through hubs in Europe or the United States, it incurs a greater "risk of potential interception of critical financial and security information by non-BRICS entities".[2]

The BRICS cable is intended "to circumvent the U.S. and NSA spying through ports in Russia, China, Singapore, India, Mauritius, South Africa, and Brazil."[6]

According to Sputnik News, the NSA spying scandal created a need for a cyberspace hidden from the prying eyes of "American spooks".[7] However, anyone using US-based web services like Google, Facebook or Yahoo will still remain under surveillance of the NSA.[7]

According to The Brics Post, Brazilian former President Dilma Rousseff considers the US spying regimen "unacceptable", and postponed an official visit to the US in protest. She has also pushed a new Internet bill that would force Google, Facebook and other networks to store locally gathered data in the country within Brazil, data which would then be governed by Brazilian privacy laws.[5]

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