Friday, 26 February 2016

have some madeira, m’ dear

Expected to be a direct conduit between South America and Europe ready late next year, the underseas cable that Brazil is preparing to anchor over revelations that that country’s government was one of the many targets of American electronic surveillance is not only courting the interests of those who feel directly affronted and betrayed but also of some giants—not of the same spying-industry per se but at least of the enabling kind—of the internet.
The cable, side- stepping the American monopoly on trans-Atlantic submarine lines of communication, links the former colony with her metropolitan, Portugal, with a landing at Cabo Verde, another former Portuguese holding.  Called EulaLink, other nations too are interested in joining this network. I wonder, in response, what sort of slant-drilling operations might be enjoined to siphon-off some of this traffic. The terminus of the cable will be in the coastal city of Madeira—which made me think of the old tune that tells the story of a lecherous old man who tries to persuade an innocent young girl to dally a bit longer by plying her with drink: the result is that she does stay but her character is transformed to something akin to his own, which probably wasn’t exactly what he wanted. Maybe that is a cautionary tale for this enterprise.