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US warns against linking Pacific data cable to Hong Kong

'Team Telecom' panel raises alarms over Chinese espionage

Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor: Google and Facebook have been pushing for an trans-Pacific data cable link connecting the U.S. and Hong Kong.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- An undersea Pacific data link between the U.S. and Asia should not connect to Hong Kong, a key government panel here recommends, citing the Chinese government's growing grip on the city and the potential for espionage.

The Justice Department-led interagency committee, known as Team Telecom, recommended that the Federal Communications Commission should deny the Pacific Light Cable Network from connecting to Hong Kong. It also recommended conditional approval for adding Taiwan and the Philippines to the network, backed by such technology giants as Google and Facebook.

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