Got Fiber? The NSA's Map Of Global Undersea Fiberoptic Routes

Tyler Durden's picture

Meet RAMPART/BLARNEY/MYSTIC - the NSA's "unconventional special access program" partnering with international agencies to capture - but not collect (though there are exceptions) 'data' directly from the world's fiber-optice cables. The following map shows there is plenty of places to hop on the pipe and suck out as much information as they'd like but it's all good, as NSA notes in the leaked docs - "partnering with Foreign SIGINT partners to enable access to foreign intelligence" as the NSA shows "how to find target communication on a typical fiber optic cable."


Here's the problem...


And here's the target...

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Cthonic's picture

Tap secret.  It's a wired, wired, wired, wired world.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

I guess they never heard of

potato's picture

Funny thing is that the cables are actually in the positions depicted on the map. The straights, the bends, the intersections.... all accurate

Bindar Dundat's picture

Question:  Where do we connect for HFT?

MontgomeryScott's picture

United States Senator Ted Stevens gave a speech, describing the Internet as a 'series of tubes'.

They ('WE') laughed at his so-called 'ignorance'.

People are really silly, sometimes.

Stevens DIDN'T divulge that it is a series of UNDERSEA and UNDERGROUND man-made tubes. Comncepts like this are WAY TOO DEEP to fathom (pun intended).

"Funny thing is that the cables are actually in the positions depicted on the map. The straights, the bends, the intersections.... all accurate"

EIGHT FUCKING YEARS AGO (2006, when NSA whistleblower Russel Tice was coming out about the NSA and the construction of the re-routers at the AT and T cable facility in San Fransisco), when he was discussing the NET NEUTRALITY BILL (old bills never DIE, you know, they just come back even WORSE), his comments were laughed at, and sneered at, and frowned upon.

Yeah. Funny, huh?

NidStyles's picture

Is it me, or is there a country or two missing from that map?

nmewn's picture

Yes and a glaring issue of redundancy with many others.

For the sea faring folk...arrrrrh ;-)

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

Chronologically stratigic release don't cha know? We shan't christen the hull before the lines are cast

nmewn's picture

I always kinda liked the name Whydah and Black Sam was a helluva captain ;-)

GoldMeUp's picture

No.. the map slide says UNCLASSIFIED.  Only the slide about intercepting the data is top secret.

JustObserving's picture
In more important news:


Mario Balotelli: I want a kiss from the Queen on my ass if I keep England's World Cup hopes alive

Striker makes cheeky proposal if Italy keep England's World Cup 2014 alive with victory over Costa Rica

SmittyinLA's picture

finding the target is easy when they download/attach a marker that self broadcasts its location, its like finding a needle in a haystack with a magnet

Duc888's picture


The US has been sucking pipe for quite some time now.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

And what the hell are they going to do with all this data gathering? I say we fight back and set up auto emails with juicy key words to overwhelm it. Hell, get the hackers to send viruses all over hijacking other computers to do the same. What would their algorithms do with all that? EVERY person on earth is a terrorist. Take that trend line and shove it up your ass NSA.


PeeramidIdeologies's picture

That's a good question that I have been pondering for awhile. Similar to facebooks data mountain, where IMO the true value of that company resides, is the shear amount of personalized information. I consider the NSA to be a modern day J. Edgar. If you were to find yourself at odds with the state, they would have ample ammunition for character defamation.

Another angle to consider is that this data is a marketers dream. I read an article years ago, which I wish I could recall, that suggested computer programs were being developed to organize the data from facebooks servers. It is a scary thought to think that your online personality is under constant scrutiny, and subject to sorting and grouping. Who knows what one could do with that type of information. It's quite the mindfuk.

You make a fine point though, the quality of their data will be subject to your patterns, so let's all youtube cat videos!!! We're all just crazy cat people!!

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

supposedly if you put the word "Viagra" in one-point font in your email somewhere it gets filtered out, they are absolutely overwhelmed with data and have to throw some out somewhere

omniversling's picture
Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don't want the government spying on you (and they include 'pork', 'cloud' and 'Mexico')


Four pages at this link:

potato's picture

They forgot the private fiber of the High Freaks to from NJ to Chicago

Bunga Bunga's picture

At least there are some good news:

House votes 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying on Americans

Also international spying is a complete waste of money. They can tap the phones and e-mails of almost everyone in the world, but did not see the ISIS debacle coming. Complete FAIL! This agency is completely useless, shut it down.


The Joker's picture

The ISIS debacle is foreign policy.  Of course they saw it coming.  They just didn't have to tap wires to see it.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

"See it coming" LOL?

They created it. "Oh look more ter-rists, we need to get that ol' war ginned up again"

Saudi plus Israel plus the US created ISIS against Assad and Iran, they forgot the part where their next stops are Mecca, Medina, and New York

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Got Fiber?  Sure.  Got Subs? 

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  And a Net is only as strong as its weakest Nodes.

Chupacabra-322's picture

The Global Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Crime Syndicate's espionage routes.

A Lunatic's picture

Now we know where to start chopping.......

Snoopy the Economist's picture

This is old news. The industry has been installing 100Gbs (gigabits per second) at 100 or more channels on a single fiber for the last year or so. I'm sure the number of undersea cables are greater than seen here.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Yeah exactly there is nothing new here that wasn't already known. What do you think they were actually doing looking for flight MH370 that they knew didn't fly on a southward arc. Probably clearing some Russian fiber line taps, putting their own in and putting in underwater listening posts.


statelessman's picture

What's the name of the (planned) cable between New Zealand and South America, I've never seen that cable announced before.

Not listed here:

One And Only's picture

I love reading top secret documents in journalistic publications/websites.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

This probably a FOIA request the way it is blacked out since the documents don't give away anything at all. The more important question is what happens to all data before it enters those cables?



Personality Disorder's picture

And my internet connection sucks, where is the fiber to the door I've been hearing about since I was a kid?

Cthonic's picture

verizon fios/quantum, google fiber, charter fiber... market specific, typically only largest metropolitan markets.

NoPension's picture

I'm a contractor on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Other than fiber trunk lines ( paid for by wireline customers) that support cell towers, we have NO fiber service. FTTP .( fiber to the premises) .
Verizon's promise to the public and the government, install fiber everywhere. And had the gov allow them to collect fees for that purpose. Probably tens or more likely, hundreds of millions. And they use that money to build out fiber in heavily populated areas, and for cell service. ( and Verizon Wireless is a separate company).
Meanwhile , the copper network is being all but abandoned. They would like to give it away, but who would want it?
Here is the kicker; if you have a copper telephone line (common carrier rules apply) your regulated. That is to say , the public service commission has say say over service,price, etc. BUT, if you have a fiber( FTTP, fios), your service is classed as " information delivery" and NOT regulated.
Ever wonder why your copper phone line takes 3 weeks to be fixed, bu they will send a tech over in 3 hours to install a fiber. ( at least in areas THEY chose to service)
All of you fios customers, unregulated.
I'll continue next time, what happens if you want " phone service" in a copper "plant" area............

Andy Lewis's picture

Hell yeah, I got fiber.  I take a couple shits every day.

Thanks for asking.

are we there yet's picture

It is staggering to think how much porn travels under the ocean.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

You may be interested to know that the porn industry has been the "early adopter" (payer) of all video technologies in the last 150 years.

Ironic that "vice" has helped drive progress. The gods must be laughing. Kirk is.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I am using the third one from the top.  I thought it was mine....