BT alleged to have supplied high-speed fibre-optic cable to aid US drone strikes

nsa 26EAVESDROP-articleLarge

The government has been asked to investigate whether BT is aiding drone strikes with a specially built military internet cable connecting US air force facilities in Northamptonshire to a base for unmanned craft in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Evidence is mounting that the $23m (£13m) fibre-optic circuit built by BT in 2012 was installed to facilitate air strikes in Yemen and Somalia by US air force drones, according to a complaint filed by the human rights group Reprieve.

The circuit runs from RAF Croughton, a base where US air force personnel staff a command, control, communications and computer support hub for global operations organised by the US military.

Its ultimate destination is Camp Lemonnier in the small republic of Djibouti. A former French Foreign Legion outpost refitted in a $1.4bn project commissioned in 2012, Camp Lemonnier is where the Pentagon has established the most important base for drone operations outside Afghanistan.

The circuit BT built can carry live video images, transporting digital information at the rate of 2.5 gigabits per second, about 30 times faster than BT’s superfast home broadband service Infinity, which advertises 80 megabits per second.

The contract asked for the cable to be operational by 12 October 2012, and runs until 14 October 2017. The circuit appears to connect Djibouti not only to the UK, but also to Capodichino near Naples in Italy, where the US navy has its European and African command centres. The circuit can use terrestrial fibre-optic or undersea cables, but the contract..

Read more: