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The New York Times has published further details of an NSA operation that involves spying on the fiberoptic cables running between the data centers of companies such as Google(s goog) and Yahoo(s yhoo). The piece highlights the role played by Level 3, the company that runs such cables for Google and Yahoo. Level 3 has already been identified as one of the telecommunications firms working with the UK’s NSA partner, GCHQ. These fiber connections are crucial to the affair, as they may provide a way for the NSA and GCHQ to effectively tap into major web firms’ systems without their cooperation.