Strange snafu misroutes domestic US Internet traffic through China Telecom


Telecom with ties to China's government misdirected traffic for two and a half years.
Interesting. And scary.
The telecom world is crazy, things might be routed where there is capacity over. It is a while since I left the telecom business (18 years) but I recall this as a common or at least no uncommon pattern. Especially for those that don't have an own physical network. Mind you that texts where created as a feature to use unused capacity on the control channel to for something that might be charged. They never guessed the success it became (but that is true for most telecom from mid and late 90s).

Here in Sweden we have in essential 3ish physical networks and off course a great number of operators. I use ETC Telecom as they are investing in solar cells to compensate for the electricity consumption my usage case in network. ETC don't have an own network, they use capacity in Telia that is a former part of a governmental public company (you might have heard about them and bribes in Turkey). If ETC would like they can purchase capacity via someone else to earn just a small amount more every time I call. I don't know that this is the case here but it might very well be so.

If I where China and intended to spy on USA traffic I would create an economical incitement like this. Those that goes for the cheapest solution (or have a carrier that hunts the cheapest solution which is at least my personal prejudiced view of the typical US company - the short term hunt for money to the extreme as it is the most important thing in life. Such a company will then chose to let China spy on them or their customers.

Anyway, using unused capacity even thought it is an additional route make actually some sense. We might want to avoid china though :)

(No offense meant in any way, I have no clue whether you have a low price subscription and know nothing about this particular telecom company).
It is a good reminder to always use encryption because you never know where your data goes (as if that isn't already an issue when travelling between LA and DC more directly).