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Third Undersea Cable Cut

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  • Third cut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eevee (535658) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:49PM (#22265560)

    Once is accident.

    Twice is coincidence.

    Thrice is enemy action.

    • Re:Third cut? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KublaiKhan (522918) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:51PM (#22265600) Homepage Journal
      Yes, it does seem suspicious, especially since it's Iran--a country that's in the news a lot lately, and with whom communication may be rather important.

      If this is followed by reports of various despicable actions in Iran which cannot be verified due to the lack of communication, then it would be even more suspicious.
      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:01PM (#22265756) Journal

        If this is followed by reports of various despicable actions in Iran which cannot be verified due to the lack of communication, then it would be even more suspicious.
        Meanwhile a U.S. effort to bring aid to the Kurds has been proven successful. "Operation Dredge Massive Underwater Machete" has stated that its peaceful goals have been accomplished and will slowly pass the rest of Iran's coast in a return to its base in India.
        • by Poltras (680608) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:43PM (#22266334) Homepage

          First scuba: "Hey dude! I found the cables!"
          Second scuba: "Cool. Now cut the red one. No, not that one, the other one. No not this one!"
          First scuba: "Hey man! Sorry, I'm colorblind.."
          Second scuba: "Sh.t! That's 2 dude. We were simply supposed to cut the good one... Now gimme those scissors. There you go."

          • by monkeyboythom (796957) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:55PM (#22266488)

            Sigh...more fairy tales from teh Intarweb...

            We all know that colorblind people can see colors correctly underwater while those who have correct vision cannot.

            First scuba: "Hey dude! I found the cables!" Second scuba: "Cool. Now cut the red one. No, not that one, the other one. No not this one!" First scuba: "Hey man! Sorry, I'm colorblind.." Second scuba: "Sh.t! That's 2 dude. We were simply supposed to cut the good one... Now gimme those scissors. There you go."
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:53PM (#22266474)
          At least now we know they cant buy parts for their nuclear weapons online anymore.
      • Re:Third cut? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Bent Mind (853241) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:41PM (#22266310)

        I thought this was interesting:

        "We had another cut today between Dubai and Muscat three hours back. The cable was about 80G capacity, it had telephone, Internet data, everything," one Flag official, who declined to be named, told Zawya Dow Jones.

        The cable, known as Falcon, delivers services to countries in the Mediterranean and Gulf region, he added.

        "It may take sometime to fix the cut but we are rerouting the traffic to another cable in the U.K. and U.S., the bandwidth utilization will go down," the official said.

        So, a "Flag official, who declined to be named" reports that a major portion of the Gulf region's communications are being rerouted through the US and UK.

        It's probably not as fishy as it sounds. I seem to recall a major portion of all Internet traffic at least passes through the US. However, it does make you wonder.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GnomeThinker (1070460)

          So, a "Flag official, who declined to be named" reports that a major portion of the Gulf region's communications are being rerouted through the US and UK. It's probably not as fishy as it sounds. I seem to recall a major portion of all Internet traffic at least passes through the US. However, it does make you wonder.

          Of course this adds an interesting twist to the NSA wanting to access the 'tubes' that are running through the USA and the big worry that the anti-terrorism battle will be horribly lost if we

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mea37 (1201159)
        If this is followed by reports of various despicable actions in Iran which cannot be verified due to the lack of communication, then it would be even more suspicious.

        True, but can't we wait until that actually happens before talking about how suspicious it would be? Doesn't the government actually do enough under-handed things that we can display our cynicism talking about those realities, rather than speculating about what kind of plot we'd dream up if we were the ones being under-handed?

        Now, I do think s
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RodgerDodger (575834)
          The first two got cut because an Egyptian port started ordering ships to anchor-at-sea in a new area - one which the cables passed through.

          It's not that ship anchors have become more dangerous, it's that humans have become more careless.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rubycodez (864176)
        here, let me fix that for you:

        if this is followed by reports of various U.S. supplied deep penetrator bombings of Iranian uranium processing facilities by Israel in Iran which cannot be verified due to the lack of communication, then it would be even more suspicious.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:55PM (#22265648)
      Last night while sitting in my chair
      I pinged a host that wasn't there
      It wasn't there again today
      The host resolved to NSA.
    • by bigdavex (155746) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:56PM (#22265674)
      A communications disruption can mean only one thing - invasion.
    • Re:Third cut? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:57PM (#22265696)
      yes funny. does not slashdot realize we have had a sub that can do just that for decades?

      http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:3fK6ZB19WjIJ:msl1.mit.edu/furdlog/docs/cnn/2005-02-18_cnn_optical_taps.pdf+fiber+submarine+cia&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=opera [72.14.205.104]

      keep laughing guys and gals why the spies among us earn their salary. :-P
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by orclevegam (940336)

        yes funny. does not slashdot realize we have had a sub that can do just that for decades?
        This was about cutting a cable not tapping it. And apparently you don't need a special sub for that, a plain old boat anchor works just fine. Still, it is very suspicious that all three of the undersea cables have been cut within such a short time period. Considering that Egypt was already talking about rationing bandwidth they've got to be shitting themselves now.
      • Re:Third cut? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:14PM (#22265948) Homepage
        If this is the work of our spies, they aren't earning their salary. They're incompetent bastards who should be fired for lacking any type of stealth or subtlety.

        How much tech do you really need to cut a cable? It doesn't seem like it would require much in the way of high tech capability. Given that these cables are communication lines carrying western influences into muslim countries, I would say that at this point, we should not rule out militant acts to make a statement about wanting a reduction of western influence.

        If this is our spies, this would seem to be a pretty boneheaded execution of tapping lines. But, since they work for the government, we can't rule out boneheadedness. Or just really bizzarre random chance, though that's kind of hard for me personally to swallow at this point.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          they should have just hired the COMCAST guys to, uhhh, NAK an RST some of the packets.

          that'll fix 'em!

        • Re:Third cut? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris Snook (872473) on Friday February 01, 2008 @06:32PM (#22267792)
          Actually, if you want to test your surveillance of an enemy's communications networks, deliberately disrupting their communications can be a very worthwhile experiment.

          It's notable that Iran is now supposedly cut off entirely. If the Iranian government has any secret communications links, it'll be much easier to tell when they're using them.
        • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Friday February 01, 2008 @08:20PM (#22268826) Homepage Journal

          How much tech do you really need to cut a cable?

          This isn't the 1960s. The people who worked on the Apollo program are all retired. Somewhere, in a submarine, a guy just said, "LOLZ, think I cut cable!" and his commander replied, "pwned! LOLZ! I'll come take a look at it after I finish this MySpace video."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gbjbaanb (229885)
      and Four Times is shrimp getting to like the taste of plastic coating.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Johnson (580)
      The question quickly becomes: is anyone actually retarded enough to think that if you cut off the internotz to Iran, you can secretly bomb them and nobody will notice? Or, not notice in a timely fashion?
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:50PM (#22265594) Journal
    *brings out the popcorn*
  • by anotherone (132088) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:51PM (#22265602)

    Iran hasn't lost connectivity, the specific router that Internet Traffic Report is checking has lost connectivity.

    Even the University that hosts the router that ITR is checking is still up: http://www.iust.ac.ir/ [iust.ac.ir]

    • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:19PM (#22266830) Journal
      The countries internet connection is hanging by a thread, and you slashdot their university. Smooth move, asshole.
    • by mrboyd (1211932) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:43PM (#22267124)
      Iran is still on the grid, as is all of the ME. I am still in Dubai (where the 3rd cable has been cut). I received a communication from our ISP (DU/ aka DIC Telecom) telling us about this new cut and that they had to reroute us again. I couldn't notice more slow down in web browsing but bittorrent traffic seems to have been blocked. Could it be a preemptive measure? We live behind a big firewall similar to the one in china here. I would be surprised if they decided not to plead like the Egyptians and just block some of the crap we download to save the bandwidth.
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:52PM (#22265624) Homepage

    It was widely reported from a variety of whistleblowers at the turn of the millennium that the U.S. was preparing the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter to be able to tap underwater fibre-optic cables. See Bamford's Body of Secrets [amazon.com] for exmaple.

    That this operation was carried out on the submarine named after the president who did the most to reduce spying on civilian targets shows just how petty and spiteful the professional privacy violators in the NSA are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)

      It was widely reported from a variety of whistleblowers at the turn of the millennium that the U.S. was preparing the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter to be able to tap underwater fibre-optic cables. See Bamford's Body of Secrets [amazon.com] for exmaple.

      That this operation was carried out on the submarine named after the president who did the most to reduce spying on civilian targets shows just how petty and spiteful the professional privacy violators in the NSA are.

      What does that have to do with anything? You don't need a sophisticated submarine just to break the cables in half. All you need to do that is a ship with an anchor and an approximate idea of where the cables are located.

      Tapping a cable is a subtle move, requiring a lot of technical expertise and work. Breaking one isn't.

  • by hermit_tries_virtual (1229948) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:07PM (#22265850)

    Fry: What's happening?

    Dr. Zoidberg: All 6,000 hulls have been breached!

    Fry: Oh, the fools! If only they'd built it with 6,001 hulls! When will they learn?

  • by Lurker2288 (995635) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:25PM (#22266110)
    So let's see, three cables in three days...that puts the monster in Manhattan by what, next Thursday, give or take a few isolated fishing vessels between here and there? Better charge up those handicams, kids!
  • by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:32PM (#22266208) Journal

    Office productivity throughout the Middle East has risen sharply.

  • by xleeko (551231) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:49PM (#22266408)
    <french-accent>
    This reclusive giant of the deep, the Great White Backhoe, spends most of its life in quiet solitude. But, once every seven years, as if called by some unknown force, these gentle beasts gather in great numbers to feast upon the cables of the ocean floor.
    </french-accent>
  • by mgh02114 (655185) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:14PM (#22266760)
    The locations where many of the recent cable cuts have occurred (China, Pakistan, Palestine/Egypt, and now Iran) is highly suspicious. I suspect that the U.S. intelligence community is using a sub to tap into the fiberoptic line to capture all of the data. Unlike copper lines, they probably can't splice into glass fiberoptic lines without breaking the circuit for a while.

    1) Cut the line somewhere roughly, so it clearly looks like an accident
    2) Somewhere else far away, splice into the line using a sub, so the NSA can capture all the data (or even potentially alter it in transit)
    3) Let the commercial communication providers fix the obvious break
    4) Profit! (at least in terms of intelligence gathering and cyber-war capability

  • Shallow seas (Score:3, Interesting)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:23PM (#22266878)
    The Persian Gulf is actually very shallow at about 35m at its deepest. So anchor damage by large ships is very likely there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scubamage (727538)
      Given that I can't recall in recent memory when one of these cables has been cut before the liklihood of these cables being cut one a day for 3 days, purely by chance, to be almost nil. A ship captained by a reactionary who hates the net? Possible. Goverment surveillance? Possible but strangely high profile. You better believe any sensitive data going through those tubes is gonna be monitored by warhawks in every one of the affected nations. Also, it wouldn't surprise me if China at the very least sends a s
    • Re:Shallow seas (Score:5, Informative)

      by almightynayr (529054) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:52PM (#22267248) Homepage
      please quit pulling numbers out of your ass.. The waters are overall very shallow and have a maximum depth of 90 metres and an average depth of 50 metres. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persian_Gulf#Geography [wikipedia.org]
  • Silence at last! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Radon360 (951529) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:25PM (#22266892)

    All my co-workers phones aren't ringing off the hook with callers trying to subscribe them to worthless trade publications today (very likely a coincidence, but it sounds good anyway). So, now we know how to really stop all those nagging calls from people with really poor english on a noisy connection. Then again, so goes many of the tech support and customer service lines, too.

  • by recharged95 (782975) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:27PM (#22266926) Journal
    To prove the senator's theory that the tubes will fill up with water.

    And all of Iran's computers will overflow.

  • Sealab (Score:5, Funny)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:33PM (#22266996)
    "Hey, Quinn! Check out my new raver's wig!"
    [He flips a switch and fiber optic cables coming out of his hair start glowing and flowing in multiple colors)

    "Stormy, where'd you find the cables for that wig? Tell me you didn't pull them out of the control panels."

    "Control panels? Hell no, I'm not stupid! No, I got them outside. There's a whole lot of them out there on the sea floor."

    "Outsi-- you idiot! Those are Internet cables! You can't just steal them!"

    "But everyone's else is doing it!"

    [Hetch appears on the monitor, but the camera reads him as a multi-colored blob.]
    "Hetch sewed himself a fiber-optic suit!"
  • by CrtxReavr (62039) <crtxreavrNO@SPAMtrioptimum.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:40PM (#22267090)
    I know it's, unfortunately en vogue to bash the USA, but has anyone considered that maybe some jihadi has some scuba gear? Wants to keep out the evil, infidel influence?

    -CR

  • by CFTM (513264) on Friday February 01, 2008 @06:08PM (#22267472)
    Since we're all speculating like crazy on how the evil Americans did it, I figured I'd speculate that the evil north Koreans sent a fleet of fishing boats to the mid east and dropped anchors on these telco lines in order to get the Iranians pissed off so they'd attacked an American vessel in the Strait of Hormuz, precipitating world war III...given that GWB has about 11 months left, they figured to get it down now.

    Yep, that sounds every bit as ridiculous AT THIS POINT.

    Let's wait for a little more information, I'm sure by Monday international news outlets will be giving a more thorough report on what is occurring, though I doubt Fox News ever will...
  • chances? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Friday February 01, 2008 @06:19PM (#22267638) Homepage Journal
    Coincidence?

    It looks like Iran has completely lost Internet connectivity."
    Ok, I'm paranoid, but it is an election year, and the world would be surprised a lot if Bush didn't fuck up something else before he goes.

    Seriously, what are the chances of this?
  • paranoia (Score:4, Informative)

    by grumling (94709) on Friday February 01, 2008 @09:29PM (#22269318) Homepage
    Maybe they all got cut because they all run in parallel? An anchor dragging along a canal, breaks one immediately, and opens up the other two, exposing the bare fibers. The current or wake from passing ships break more and more fibers, leading to more outages. I've seen pix of the suez canal, and it doesen't seem all that wide, compared to the ships that pass through it.

    There's one other possibility: the companies who own the networks are leasing glass from each other and there's really only one cable. For example, Level3 (lvlt) builds a network. Since it expensive to build out, they trade glass with whoever may have dark fiber available (often times telcos). It shows up on the books as theirs, but really it maintained by a telco. Happens all the time in the US.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday February 01, 2008 @09:38PM (#22269402) Homepage Journal
    What if there's a revolution going on in Iran and they cut their own cables?

    It's not that hard to arrange, and it would cut them off from any media coverage while nobody could communicate to the media without becoming very visible and easy to arrest ...

    Remember what happened in Bhurma when the monks revolted - they cut the Tubes to the Internets.

    Bing - no pics of people revolting - and they could quell it successfully by killing a few people and beating or imprisoning the rest.

    It's not always what you think. Sometimes it's different ...
  • by bushwhacker2000 (992073) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:40AM (#22270450)
    from a post on in the goldismoney forums:

    There's a good chance that this is related to the Iranian Oil Bourse. It is scheduled to be opened between Feb 1 and 11 on the island of Kish in the Persian Gulf.

    http://www.energybulletin.net/12125.html [energybulletin.net]
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id...onid=351020103 [presstv.ir]

    The US can't let it open, due to the damage it would do to the dollar. If it relies heavily on the Internet, then cutting the cables seems like it would be an effective, covert, non-violent way to go. And a totally disgusting manipulation of the free market, of course...

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