A Peephole for the N.S.A - NYT 26/11/13
By NICOLE PERLROTH and JOHN MARKOFF
People knowledgeable about Google and Yahoo’s #infrastructure say they believe that government spies bypassed the big Internet companies and hit them at a weak spot — the fiber-optic cables that connect data centers around the world that are owned by companies like #Verizon Communications, the BT Group, the Vodafone Group and #Level_3 Communications. In particular, fingers have been pointed at Level 3, the world’s largest so-called Internet backbone provider, whose cables are used by #Google and #Yahoo. [cf. ▻http://seenthis.net/sites/342088]
The Internet companies’ #data_centers are locked down with full-time security and state-of-the-art surveillance, including heat sensors and iris scanners. But between the data centers — on Level 3’s fiber-optic cables that connected those massive computer farms — information was unencrypted and an easier target for government intercept efforts, according to three people with knowledge of Google’s and Yahoo’s systems who spoke on the condition of anonymity.