Posted by: DeepDotWeb
June 18, 2014
</span><p>This is a guest post by a source who wish to remain anonymous :</p>
As US regulators and the White House put more focus on US data security, we see new threat vectors which could shake the very infrastructure of telecommunications and, in effect, bypass the protocols of national security.
Network providers and ISPs are facing increasing pressure by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to play their role in national security and undertake responsibility for the safety of newly implemented technologies.
In a statement earlier this month, FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler said, “The FCC cannot abdicate its responsibilities simply because the threats to national security and life and safety have begun to arrive via new technologies.”
Further, Wheeler stated that, “The challenge is that this private sector-led effort must be more dynamic than traditional regulation and more measurably effective than blindly trusting the market or voluntary best practices to defend our country, placing the burden of responsibility on corporate awareness and cyber security protocol implementation.”
New threat vectors in data security
Overseas investment into US national telecommunications already exists, but due diligence is of upmost importance when new partners approach and such scenarios are scrutinized by Homeland Security and the NCC.
As an example, Italian-based Retelit SpA (LIT), a provider in data services and telecommunications infrastructure (fiber) recently announced an untimely launch into the US with the stated goal of “…directly overseeing the US telecommunications market”.
The newly established Retelit USA will then move to represent the interests of its Italian Board of Directors and, with no foundation in the US, we can expect to see future acquisitions and the grabbing of strategic shares.
Though this scenario seems harmless enough and in the most part commonplace, a deeper look into the Retelit ownership raises further questions.
Per a company profile document on their website, Retelit states, “Retelit’s main shareholder is the Libyan Post, Telecommunications and IT company (LPTIC). In September 2012, LPTIC drew up an agreement with other 11 shareholders (ex-minorities); in October they appointed a new Board of Directors to re-launch Retelit.”
Prior to and in the wake of the fall of Muammar Gadhafi the White House imposed heavy sanctions against Libya. To date, though the Obama administration is working closely with the new government of Libya, President Obama in a statement to the Congress in 2012 made it clear what the US stance was, “[Libya] continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” Maintaining that sanctions have to be held until Libya is cleared of all sympathetic supporters of Gadhafi in influential locations.
With the majority of the Libyan Post Board of Directors assigned under this regime, one has to ask, what are the political sentiments of those in control?
So here we see the scenario in play. Libyan-owned Retelit is moving in with the stated goals of directly overseeing the US telecommunications market. How would this go over with the NCC, let alone other US government security agencies?
Let’s take US-based FiberGate Inc as an example. Established in 1995, FiberGate Inc. provides fiber-optics technology and communication solutions to corporate and government clients. With current and past clients such as the Food and Drug Association (FDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), The US Air Force, Pentagon and the White House, FiberGate Inc sits at the core of the US communications network.
With possible synergies and mutual interests we could see Retelit approaching FiberGate, and most likely, strategically and silently grabbing up shares from wherever possible and gaining a stronghold into the firm.
Now the scenario looks like this: Libyan Post (who answers to the Libyan Government), and also owns Retelit, now has control of the company which provides the high speed communication fibers under America’s most secure government and military locations.
Overseas investments are beneficial for the US market, but when foreign investment jeopardizes national security, we see a new potential threat vector. Corporate acquisitions and control of the primary communication channels of a nation going under foreign control could reap a whole new level of havoc and to avoid this from happening, the concerned parties would have to see new provisions would need to be set in place.
Data and National Security has never just been through technology, but also politics and corporate maneuvering.