Paranoia is a disease in all of our modern societies, East and West, North and South! Things happen, sometimes for no reason, 'in threes or fours'. If we are not careful, we will be blaming someone (USA? UK? Russia? Does it matter whom?) for freak bad weather...now there's a thought given the recent flooding on our roads. Or maybe it was just the weather on it's own?
Sorry to be an anorak, Graham, but the submarine fibre optic cables used in telecommunications do, indeed, carry power. They're not just optical strands: there's a surrounding segment of steel cable that carries a power supply.
One reason that sharks are so fond of attacking these cables is that they create electromagnetic eddies: sharks' teeth are often found in cable that's brought up from the Gulf and Indian Ocean.
Unlike electric signal-based telephone lines, in order to tap a fiber optic cable, it must be cut. If someone wanted to intercept all communications in and out of the Middle East, these four cables would suffice.
This would be completely in line with GW Bush's FISA plan, or it could be a freak coincidence...
These types of things would just be coincidence if the US would keep their hands to themselves. Why can't we follow Thomas Jefferson's advice about non-interventionism?
Ron Paul 2008!
Whether the breakage of four undersea cables within less than one week's time is coincidental or not really isn't important at this juncture - broke is broke. For those who don't know, yes, there are submarines and autonomous submersibles which can operate undetected and cut submerged cables. Guess who controls and operates such technological machines? Hint: it's not Hollywood, Bollywood nor James Bond's fictional enemies.
The point being missed by the media, the public and Arab governments is the vulnerability of such critical lifelines from the Gulf to the outside world. In essence, we here are allowed to use the internet on the whims of Western powers who can disrupt undersea cables and satellite based systems at a moments notice. While glitzy projects here always make news headlines, the lack of well protected, redundant infrastructure is ignored. The concept of protecting and hardening critical infrastructure goes beyond the convenience of email and internet usage. More importantly it entails redundant communications systems which are properly maintained and are connected to at least two independent sources of power supply. When the electrical power fails I'm unable to even make a telephone call, neither from my land - nor mobile phone. This leaves the population with no way to call for outside help in case of fire, crime, medical or other emergency - is this not a bit more critical than being unable to send an email or place an internet pizza order?
Providing reliable public infrastructure systems is a bit more complex than merely fencing in the telephone exchange, installing GSM towers atop buildings and plugging them into a power outlet or putting signage on a buoy "caution - undersea cable - please stay away". When you see emergency responders and police authorities here communicating with mobile telephones rather than with secure portable radio equipment you ought to wonder why the developed countries make their personnel use professional equipment that will still operate during disasters, after earthquakes and when normal electrical power has failed - all the while recording what is transmitted.
PS: Please also fix the drainage. It will rain again, eventually.
RE: "The cause of damage is not yet known, but ArabianBusiness.com has been told unofficially the problem is power related."
I find this answer to the problem to be at best uninformed, these cables are optical devices and not electrically conducting, thus how can the problem be power related. If the problem was at the receiving or transmitting end then such an analysis would be germane, buts as the cables have "broken" such and explanation is disingenuous at best.
The timing and the situation of these breaks seems to be purposeful and planned. There are only two countries for whom such an event would provide any sort of benefit and those are Israel and the USA, both of which have aspirations beyond their borders.
It would also be in keeping with their long term strategy of asymmetrical warfare by keeping their economic and military opponents ham stringed and sidetracked.
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