TechRadar

A big conspiracy?

Posted on: February 6, 2008

Alright, this one is no where related to the posts I usually make here, but the internet is abuzz with conspiracy theories.

It all started with two cables from FLAG telecom(owned by Indian telecommunications giant Reliance) snapping near Egypt. And it all was attributed to the a ship anchoring off the cost. But now FLAG sources say that everything is speculation right now. A couple days later a third cable snapped. And then a fourth and fifth one has snapped recently. Too many to atrribute to random anchorings.

Here’s a snippet from internet reports about the cable breaks :

“These are SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) near Penang, Malaysia, the FLAG Europe-Asia near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast, FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran and SeaMeWe-4, also near Alexandria.”

Now, leaving conspiracy aside the possible reasons could be:

  • Fishing trawlers which have equipment which rubs on the sea floor near coast.
  • Ships anchoring off the coast(Keep in mind that the width of the the cable is almost a human finger).

But still five snapping are a high coincidence in itself.

It also creates questions on our reliance on internet. Normally we tend to think of internet as something which is non-physical and forget about the submarine cables which link continents and maintain our connectivity, which actually have been proved to be susceptible. We need to find alternative communication channels so that we are less dependent on large physical mediums which are vulnerable and hard to fix (it will take around 15 -20 days for these cables to be fixed since they were broken).

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