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Science & Technology

Undersea Internet cables 'at risk of attack'

December 15, 2017 | Comment icon 29 comments



What would happen if these cables were severed ? Image Credit: US Navy
The head of Britain's armed forces has warned that an attack on undersea cables could be 'catastrophic'.
During his annual lecture to the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall this week, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach highlighted the importance of defending undersea cables.

He warned that Russia could deliberately disrupt or even sever these cables to cripple communications between Europe and North America.

"There is a new risk to our way of life, which is the vulnerability of the cables that criss-cross the seabeds," he said. "Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut or disrupted, which would immediately and potentially catastrophically affect both our economy and other ways of living ?"
"Therefore we must continue to develop our maritime forces with our allies with whom we are working very closely, to match and understand Russian fleet modernisation."

To make matters worse, an attack of this nature wouldn't necessarily require military technology - even a fishing trawler equipped with deep-sea grappling hooks could potentially sever an undersea cable.

"In response to the threat posed by the modernisation of the Russian navy, both nuclear and conventional submarines and ships, we along with our Atlantic allies have prioritised missions and tasks to protect the sea lines of communication," said Peach.

Source: Sky News | Comments (29)



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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #20 Posted by smokeycat 4 years ago
     
Comment icon #21 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Submarine Cable Map (2017) --- excludes classified cables ---   https://www2.telegeography.com/submarine-cable-map
Comment icon #22 Posted by Captain Risky 4 years ago
you sound like you've read a lot up on this. my views are based more on my interests in start-ups from Europe and the states like oneworld and spacex, that want to capitalise on the information boom in auto automation and AI by flooding space with satellites providing 100% internet coverage to the world. as technology develops and space travel becomes more the domain of companies and less governments it will be cheaper and more robust than cables and less infrastructure intensive.  
Comment icon #23 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Just a muse comment... "Flat-earther's" might say "why don't we just microwave from NYC to London?"
Comment icon #24 Posted by _KB_ 4 years ago
true enough
Comment icon #25 Posted by LV-426 4 years ago
As a follow-up story, it seems the Russkies might be doing a spot of fishing... HMS St Albans: Russian warship escorted by UK frigate in North Sea "A British frigate has escorted a Russian warship through the North Sea near UK waters on Christmas Day, the Royal Navy has revealed. It said HMS St Albans monitored the Admiral Gorshkov's "activity in areas of national interest". Russia has not commented on the issue. The Royal Navy said there had been a recent "upsurge in Russian units transiting UK waters". Britain recently warned of a new threat posed by Russia to internet cables under the sea."
Comment icon #26 Posted by stevewinn 4 years ago
 
Comment icon #27 Posted by RoofGardener 4 years ago
Intriguing story LV-426; thanks for posting it.  I doubt this particular ship was cable hunting, as it has only just been commissioned, and was on its sea trials. Plus, the ship doesn't really seem to be geared up for underwater work, but rather general escort duties. Still... who knows ?  On a slight tangent, I was intrigued by the NAME of the ship. It's full name (according to Wikipedia) is not "Admiral Gorshkov", but Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov. Should we read anything into the fact that the Russian Navy - and inter alia the Russian government - seem to be glorifying t... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by stevewinn 4 years ago
Im sure there was a few other Russian Ships escorted as well. a Polar explorer and a Russian Intel Ship. https://uk.liveuamap.com/en/2017/26-december-hms-tyne-also-escorted-a-russian-intelligence
Comment icon #29 Posted by and then 4 years ago
It seems true to form for Putin.  Remember his statement on the fall of the USSR:   “First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” Putin said.  


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