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Web disrupted 'across Mid-East'

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posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:00 AM

Web disrupted 'across Mid-East'

Internet services have been disrupted in parts of the Middle East following damage to an undersea cable in the Mediterranean, according to reports.
There was disruption to 70% of the nationwide network in Egypt, a government official told Reuters.

There was also disruption in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, reported the Associated Press.

India also suffered up to 60% disruption, a national industry body told Reuters news agency.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:00 AM
At time of posting this story was just breaking...

Is this as it seems or are forces somewhere starting to show who's the boss of the web?

I know an undersea cable was damaged during an earthquake last year in Taiwan that screwed with the web across Asia, but I don't think there's been anything like this going on in the Med.

I could be wrong?

With the Middle East like a tinder box at the best of times, is this something that could ignite a spark?


(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 30/1/08 by ChiKeyMonKey]

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 11:00 AM
reply to post by ChiKeyMonKey

Good find.
It's the first thing I'd hit if I was gonna do the nasty in the ME. It would be likely indicator at any rate. The wall has been quite a show the last week or so... seems about ready to combust in that theater.


posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 11:18 AM

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 11:34 AM
It's just a damaged undersea cable. Happens all the time. It's just unfortunate that some of these countries rely on a single cable for their telco's to connect to the outside world.

May I also state that firstly, the web is different to the internet.

Secondly, their is no such thing as "the internet" in the context of a specific network. I would bet that telephony services to these destinations where also disrupted and a quick glance of my inbox tells me that was the case.

People are blissfully unaware of the sheer amount of work that is required just to keep the world wide telecoms network running. Only today, I have had several fibre breaks to repair in the UK alone.

Most systems are built to have redundancy, hence no one notices too much if we do have faults, but in less developed area's where they rely on one or two links for their entire nation to access the world, they are treading on thin ice.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 11:38 AM
those countries are all american allies,so it aint the yanks whom are responsible if it were indeed a deliberate act.

uae, saudi and kuwait are all undemocratic dictatorships/monarchies rife with human rights abuses and corruption.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 02:07 PM
yep, I'm wondering how this is effecting military communications, as it is known they still rely heavily on civilian communications networks.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:01 AM
Howdy peeps, thought I would chime in with some more information about this.

As I only work on UK networks, I wasn't aware immediately, but I have just been given a brief on the situation:


What are SEA ME WE 4 and FLAG cable systems?
FLAG (Fibre-Optic link around the globe) and SEA ME WE (South East Asia, Middle East, Western Europe) Number 4, are major submarine cable systems carrying traffic for multiple carriers around the globe. We use these cable systems to provide services to Asia-based and global customers.

What's happened?
SEA ME WE 4 and Flag cable systems, suffered multiple-submarine cable breaks in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday 30th January.

The first cable break took place at 04.29 GMT and affected the SEA ME WE 4 cable system. The second cable break took place at 07.56 GMT and affected the FLAG cable system. These two cable systems also had mutual restoration arrangements with each other. This means that if one of these cables failed, traffic would be carried on the other cable.

What's the impact?
A number of our customers suffered either disruption to, or a total loss of service.

What we're doing to fix it?
We immediately put in place our Major Incident process and initiated our back-up plan to re-route customers onto alternative paths, so they could continue operations as normal.

We've restored all of our customer's traffic on the SEA ME WE 4 cable system onto other cables, and we're working around the clock to restore the small number of customers on FLAG cable system that we haven’t been able to re-route, to ensure we continue to provide the services they expect.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:27 AM
Hence all the emails about site comms losses that greeted me when I arrived at the office this morning

Seems strange that there would be such an incident involving both carriers at the same time. I'll have to see if there's any further info on the cause.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:34 AM
We carry huge amounts of traffic over those links for most of the ISP's that complained of loss of service and also a whole host of multinationals have links with us over them. Not my bag though, so I didn't fret too much.

I might add though that we are suspicious here that both cables failed within 3 hours of each other and made especially weird because they are supposed to be each other's back up in case of failure. We have checked for seismic activity and so far, none has been reported. There are reports of a ships anchor cutting one of the cables near Alexandria, however, but that doesn't explain the second....

[edit on 31/1/08 by stumason]

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:43 AM
Turns out both FLAG (MEA) and SEA ME WE 4 systems both land near Alexandria, so I think we can chalk this one down to a shipping incident, with information we have at present.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 01:45 PM
Here is another link about this story its from CNN titled

Internet Failure Hits Two Continents

The outage heavily crippled Dubai's business section, which is heavily reliant on electronic means for billions of dollars' worth of transactions daily.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:05 PM
reply to post by stumason

Cheers for all the top replies stu.

I did a spot of analist work in tele/digiTV for NThell if this had happened in leeds the whole world would have imploded! All anyone in Leeds dose all day is watch TV and surf tit net. (Apparently)

It seems a bit ridiculous that both cables go down at the same time, surely they would be far enough apart to not be buggered by the same "accident".

With Dubai taking an economic hit it makes me wonder if that wasn't the force behind this... Who benefits the most from a lack of trading in that area of the world? (Cheers WRK)


posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 03:42 AM
reply to post by ChiKeyMonKey

Could there be someone behind this? I am not sure whether or not to be surprised about the fact that they don't have a backup system!

And two giant cables (is that how it works?) are the only things holding this massive online network together?!

How can they allow something like this to just be cut?

Imagine how angry people would be in the West.

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 01:25 PM
reply to post by Nyorai

This has happened to us a numerous occasions. I live in rural Alaska on a military base. Our ISP has had their cable cut - the one coming out to our area - one too many times...due to construction. We would go almost an entire day w/ no internet. So we switched to cable. No problems so far. LOL.

So, I dont understand the workings of it all...but it happens in the US too

[edit on 1-2-2008 by greeneyedleo]

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 01:30 PM
A third cable has been cut

Wonder whats going on here

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 01:44 PM
Here's a link to an article about the third cable being cut:

The "ships anchor" theory doesn't seem quite plausible anymore.

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 01:50 PM
I just posted this link on the other thread discussing these incidents...looks like 4 cables now.

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 02:49 PM
...thought to post this map of the cables in the area.

Until service is restored, many carriers in Egypt and the Middle East must now route their European traffic around the globe, through South East Asia and across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

[edit on 1-2-2008 by anhinga]

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 03:14 PM

Originally posted by stumason
It's just a damaged undersea cable. Happens all the time.

Uhm-eh, not all the time I suppose? While I agree with your point generally, it is rare event when we have network down on this scale.

This would be an excellent opportunity for various kinds of operations if one wants to tickle imagination

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