By Motherboard

A few weeks ago, more NSA leak-related news broke: it turned out the US government was tapping into undersea cables. The operation's code name? Fairview. The revelation was met with some skepticism. Was it just hyperbole?

At Motherboard, we wondered if this type of surveillance was inefficient on the one hand, and, on the other, whether or not it would even be possible to filter the several terabytes of information that pulse through them each second. As it turns out, despite the skepticism, monitoring and recording a significant chunk of–or perhaps all–the information exchanged through the cables is possible. The hardware and software is out there, and acquiring the capability and scale is really just a matter of money.