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A leading Internet provider in the Emirates said an undersea cable had been cut in the Persian Gulf, causing severe phone line disruptions and compounding an already existing Internet outage across large parts of the Middle East and Asia after two other undersea cables were damaged earlier this week north of Egypt.
Omar Sultan, chief executive of Dubai's IPS DU, said Friday that the incident was "very unusual." He said it was not known how the underwater FLAG FALCON cable, stretching between the United Arab Emirates and Oman, had been damaged.
"The situation is critical for us in terms of congestion" on international lines, Sultan told The Associated Press, but refused to speculate on the extent of the damage. DU said in a press release that the cause of the incident "had not yet been identified."
The owner of the FALCON cable, U.K. FLAG Telecom said the cable was cut at 05:59 GMT Friday, 56 kilometers (34.8 miles) off the coast of Dubai and that a "repair ship has been notified and expected to arrive at the site in the next few days."
Originally posted by Cypher
Critical_Mass, or anyone else for that matter,
I'm not too knowledgeable about this, but if my understanding is correct, the NSA, and presumably the alphabet agencies of a handful of other countries, do have the ability to cut and tap fiber optic undersea cables but that it would almost positively necessitate a service disruption on the cable.
Is it possible that the cables were intentionally cut, by ship anchors or other means, in order to allow a government agency to place tapping devices on the line while traffic on them was down?
Maybe I've been reading to many non-fiction spec-ops books lately, but I can just imagine a SEAL team locking out of a nuclear sub for a mission like this.
Originally posted by EBE154
reply to post by resistor
this is a possibility no-one has thought of yet...
Originally posted by Skydancer
In response to Beachcoma's suggestion of video footage, What about using google satellite maps for up close images?
Originally posted by crontab
Tapping fiber optic cable does appear to be possible(www.blackhat.com...). However, tapping the cable doesn't generally interrupt its operation, so I don't see how that is the cause of the outage. I suppose if they #ed up the tap, this could possibly cover it up, but I still don't see the point.