"Disinformation almost always works most effectively when it includes a basis in fact."
- Christopher Andrew, co-author of The Sword and The Shield
They can't tap underwater fiber-optic lines autonomously. They need something there to process the relevant information and then transmit it back - there is too much information going over those lines and it would require a second set of fiber optic lines to duplicate the traffic on the first. In addition, if they splice the line, they're open to detection due to phase and echo differences that a good optic tech can detect (the splice will reflect a small amount of the signal back down the line, showing up as interference - an echo).
The submarine they discuss in the article, IIRC, was recently fitted with a 'special package', and it was theorized that it would have a detachable mini-sub (or something to that effect, I don't keep close tabs on the NSA!) to attach to the optic cable and bring it into the ship where it could then be tapped, using the on-board processing equipment of the submarine. Fiber optic cables 'leak' a small amount of light - if you bend it the light will pass through the cable, and sensitive equipment can pickup this bleed through and amplify it.
But, good show guys. :^) I just wish you'd keep your public information, erm, consistent.
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.