Why the Mideast telecom cables were cut

A recent news article confirming suspicions that the five recent cuts of undersea fiber optic cables to the Mideast may have been sabotaged got me to thinking that there is an obvious explanation for the cuts. Fiber optic cables are difficult to tap without detection. Not only is it great for transmission and used for internet and broadband services, but it is also sturdy. Unlike copper wire, which can be tapped without breaking the communication stream, a fiber cable has to have a piece of hardware physically inserted into the light path to perform a tap. This produces a detectable outage that can be localized to the tapped segment, and this means that the fiber optic cable manufacturer could easily find the outage and repair it. This method is sometimes used whenever a fiber optic cable has a local outage in order to repair downed services, and get them up and running once again.

But what if you cut the cable in one place and, while the cable company is readying repairs, you tap another segment of the cable? Nobody knows that you tapped the cable, and nobody knows where it has been tapped. This is the obvious explanation. Bush authorized the massive wiretapping of all the fiber optic cables that lead to Iran. Whether this is a preparation for war or just continuing intelligence activity is anybody’s guess, but it does not give me a warm feeling.

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    • pfiore8 on February 19, 2008 at 5:22 am

    thanks for pointing this out and your v.v.v good questions  

    • Edger on February 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    is go after communications, although it may be just intimidation of Iran.

    It does’t give me a warm feeling either.

    • Edger on February 19, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    If Iranians are unable to communicate with the world beyond their borders, no one in the rest of the world would ever hear of any atrocities and war crimes committed against them during a war.

    There have been many in Iraq, for example. Fallujah was sealed off from the world. Only “embedded” reporters were allowed to report – and report only what they were allowed to see.

    The media is the message…

  1. Thanks for this essay ANKOSS. I had only seen a brief reference or two to this story and was wondering why I had missed it.

    The “I Love Bonnie.net” link in KrisC’s post has very good info and details on this. Whatever the number is, 4 or 9 cuts in a few consecutive days, statistically any natural or accidental cuttings could be ruled out. Something is going on.

    Now I wonder if this has something to do with the obvious slowing, especially in the evening hours, of Internet traffic here in SE Asia. I had been blaming it on the local provider.

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