The cables carry 97 percent of all cross-continent electronic communications…
(The Hill) The Trump administration’s new sanctions on Russia are casting light on the threat posed to the undersea cables that carry the world’s electronic communications between continents.
The Treasury Department sanctioned five Russian firms and three Russian nationals this week for aiding the Kremlin’s domestic security service, the FSB. One of the companies is alleged to have provided support for Moscow’s “underwater capabilities” – including producing diving systems and a submersible craft for the FSB.
The Treasury Department alleged that Russia has been “active” in tracking underwater fiber optic cables that transmit communications across continents.
The threat to undersea cables is multifaceted. Foreign adversaries could track their whereabouts to sabotage them and cut rivals off from communications.
Or they could be motivated by espionage. There has long been suspicion that Moscow is actively targeting these cables for spying purposes.
More recently, Russia’s assertive maneuvers at sea have spurred concerns that Moscow might be looking to sabotage the systems through physical means – an effort that, if successful, could have debilitating economic and security impacts…
The cables carry 97 percent of all cross-continent electronic communications, including everything from personal communications, sensitive national security data and financial transactions.
“Underwater cables are an important part of critical infrastructure,” Langevin told The Hill on Friday. “Were those ever to be cut, there would be significant damage to our economy and to our everyday lives.”