The Justice Department is opposing a bid by Google, Facebook Inc. and a Chinese entity to complete an undersea internet cable between the U.S. and Hong Kong, raising national security concerns for the project that runs out of temporary authority next month.
The high capacity fiber-optic cable running about 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) is intended to connect U.S. internet users to Asia and increase competition on the trans-Pacific data route, according to filings at the Federal Communications Commission, where the companies in 2017 applied for permission to land the cable in the U.S.
The project remains pending as tensions simmer between the U.S. and China, with an ongoing trade dispute featuring tariffs on billions of dollars in goods and chaotic pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The Justice Department and Defense Department in 2017 asked the FCC to defer action on the project until a national security review could be completed, according to two people familiar with the project who spoke on the condition of anonymity. That review continues with no specific date for conclusion.