Computer scientists at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Oregon have determined that the United States’ Internet infrastructure is at serious risk of being flooded owing to the rising sea levels. According to Paul Barford (UW) and Ramakrishnan Durairajan (UO), this is because much of the land-based underground fiber optic cabling through which the Internet is carried is in shallow underground trenches along the coasts.
The United States is worrying about something that they consider a new Russian threat: increased Russan submarine activity around the undersea fiber optic cables that carry Internet communications, and the potential that those submarine cables could be severed, crippling U.S. Internet operations. Whether you see this as promoting Russia as a bogeyman, or a real possibility, the reality is that history has demonstrated that undersea Internet cables can be cut, and that it wreaks havoc.
If you thought that Wikileaks publishing of classified documents from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would be a tough act to follow, think again. Wikileaks has now Wikileaked over a quarter of a million classifed documents, in the form of confidential cables from U.S. embassies all around the world. (Thought to have been given to them by someone with access to SIPRNet, the government’s confidential, “secure” network.) Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has released a video statement from “a secret location” is now facing the possibility of being indicted under the U.S. Espionage Act, and PFC Bradley Manning is already being implicated as the leaker, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tries to repair the damage done by the subjects of those catty cables learning what we were saying about them. Somehow, the whole thing has a feeling of our having passed notes about someone behind their back in class, and them finding out what we were saying about them.
If you are having trouble with Internet connections between Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Taiwan, Yemen, or Zambia, you’re not alone. Three undersea cables were cut this morning, leading to a global disruption of Internet connectivity. And this is the second time this year this has happened.