A major advantage of the Glimmerglass technology, according to the company, is that operators can “monitor and test remote facilities” at undersea cable landings from a central office and then select any one of multiple optical signals to distribute it to multiple recipients, as well as the ability to redirect any signal.
“With Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical Systems, any signal travelling over fibre can be redirected in milliseconds, without adversely affecting customer traffic,” the company writes on its website. “At a landing site, this connectivity permits optical layer connections between the wet side and dry side to be re-provisioned in milliseconds from the
In another section of the public website the company also promotes a product named Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical System (IOS) that combines the 3D-MEMS switches with another Glimmerglass product called CyberSweep into an integrated product that has the ability to “monitor and selectively intercept communications”.
“Service Providers can use the speed and flexibility of the IOS to select and deliver signals to Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA),” add company brochures uncovered by Wikileaks. “The agency gains rapid access, not just to signals, but to individual wavelengths on those signals (and) make perfect photonic copies of optical signals for comprehensive analysis.”
Could the new Glimmerglass optical switching technology be the means by which the
But Glimmerglass has told industry media that it sells this technology to some major government intelligence agencies.
“We’ve become a gold standard in the intel and defence community. They’re managing these optical signals so they can acquire, split, move and obtain the necessary information to protect the country,”
“At their undersea landing locations, their major points of presence, on a selective basis they need to acquire and monitor those optical signals rather than wait to get it off somebody’s, when it hits a PC or cellphone.”
Fulfilling a dream
Analysis of bulk telecommunications data to track as yet unknown targets has long been on the NSA wish list. For decades, the agency stuck to following specific individuals because there was no way to capture and analyse everything.
In 2000, two rival projects were commissioned to try to collect “all the signals all the time”.
TrailBlazer was eventually jettisoned as unworkable after
ThinThread could “correlate data from financial transactions, travel records, Web searches,
Unfortunately for the SARC team, ThinThread was vetoed by upper management at the NSA in
Some of the scientists who worked on the project recently came forward to say that they had made a mistake.
“I should apologize to the American people,”
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