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Undersea Cables Cut: Oops or Uh-oh?

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posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by loam
I ran across this graphic from the Guardian, printed yesterday. What I find very odd is that they blame "one clumsy ship" when this was clearly NOT the case...and given the date, they should have known this! I'll assume bad reporting for now, but this is indeed very strange.


From the Guardian...I wouldn't assume bad reporting. I would be more inclined to write it off as a nonchalance imposed upon the public intentionally.

Another reason why ATS is so great...we don't have to be held underneath the thumb of 'bad reporting' any longer...!

As for the actual content of the thread, the Iranian opening of their Oil index and its' correlation to the internet cutoff is damning, to say the least. I know that Iran has been a hot topic for several years now, but since I believe that this act was intentional, I have to wonder what the motivation was. Is there intelligence that we are not privy to as of now or is this just a posturing by the perpetrators?

I wonder, oh how I wonder...




posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


stu, the link didn't work for me either. Could you go to my post on pg 3 and maybe evaluate that article? makeitso's post on same page also mentioned the Jimmy Carter.

edit to add that link may be pdf, and I'm working with a slow connection today.

[edit on 2-2-2008 by desert]



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by desert
 


The link worked for me.

It is a PDF.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by desert
 


Sorry, I missed your link. Just read it now and it's all fairly speculative. The Chief tech Officer for FLAG say's it cannot be done, however, and I'd tend to agree with him.

Although, the technique described to do it is identical to how someone would perform a repair on the cable, so provided the break was over quickly, the operator might chalk it down to a glitch. However, the traffic would protection switch the moment they broke the cable.

The claim they could do it undetected is utter bollocks, though. That is impossible. There WILL be an alarm generated and people will wonder why a critical alarm suddenly dissapeared of it's own accord some days later when they finish the splice.

The article went on to say that even if they could joint in a tap, which is everso unlikely anyway, they would then have to make sense of the huge amounts of info. Like i said, we're talking STM-64 to STM-265 levels of traffic, which is huge amounts of data, of varying types. This would mean having DWDM multiplexors at the tap, or on the ship monitoring the tap, the latter being impossible and the former limiting the usefullness of the tap as the ship would have to loiter.

In a nutshell, I do not believe they can successfully tap a fibre optic cable, not without attracting huge amounts of attention and being found out, seeing as the operators will know exactly where the break occured and also the fact that they cannot get any meaningful info out of the traffic stream anyway.


EDIT: A far easier way to tap a fibre would be to intercept the traffic as it comes ashore into the network nodes. You could intercept the signal there quite simply, but again, making any sense of it is another thing.

[edit on 2/2/08 by stumason]



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
In a nutshell, I do not believe they can successfully tap a fibre optic cable, not without attracting huge amounts of attention and being found out, seeing as the operators will know exactly where the break occured and also the fact that they cannot get any meaningful info out of the traffic stream anyway.


Well hang on a second.

Weather or not it is technically possible (not my area at all - can't comment) the whole issue HAS attracted huge amounts of attention.


I mean if it was possible to determine where the break occurred without surveying the entire length of the cable - something that I think could be possible, but not via the loss of data, that is simply light ~ and at the distances were talking about you may as well say light is instant.. But something running the length of the cable running electrical current could give the break location. Given that, once the cable has been broken at one point (maybe intentionally done with a dragged anchor or similar) How har would it be to make a second, more discrete break and put in your intercept whilst attention is at the other break - you would basically have all the time it takes for the other crew to pull their fingers out to do it.

Just my ramblings.. If nonsense pay no heed!



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


Doing what is called an OTDR, which is a test you can do by sending a pulse of light down the cable which can tell you exactly where the break is.

Also, there is no such thing as a "discreet" break in optical fibre. Once the cable is broken, the light is unable to propogate down the fibre properly, causing a signal failure. Also, if there were two breaks in the cable, they would be able to tell as OTDR tests from either end would give different results.

EDIT: link to OTDR tests

[edit on 2/2/08 by stumason]



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
reply to post by desert
 


In a nutshell, I do not believe they can successfully tap a fibre optic cable, not without attracting huge amounts of attention and being found out, seeing as the operators will know exactly where the break occured and also the fact that they cannot get any meaningful info out of the traffic stream anyway.

[edit on 2/2/08 by stumason]


This is why I was speculating that maybe the cutting of the cable was indeed caused by anchor dragging, albeit intentionally. I thought that it would allow a SEAL, SBS or other comparable spec-ops team to splice in a physical tap in another location on the line while traffic was down and therefore avoid detection of their intrusion. I was thinking along the same lines as Now_Then.

Like I said before, I was purely speculating. After looking into it a little more, I do think the technology is available so that it might just be possible. Although it would surely be extremely difficult.

Either way, there is still the problem of sifting the traffic for anything useful once you've placed the tap and on that, I'll have to go with your knowledge and assume that it would be prohibitive

It looks like my theory is shot.


Thanks guys,

-Cypher.

[edit on 2-2-2008 by Cypher]



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 

Thanks, Stu!

Thanks, makeitso. I'm 50/50 on pdf's. It's not that my connection is so terribly slow today,
, it's more like I end up screwing up my laptop by trying to type while I end up unknowingly trying to download a pdf. Too impatient. Too impatient.


Article was from 2001, and maybe in tech years, that's a long time. Stuff of spy novels? Perhaps
Amount of data was brought up, as stu mentioned.

I think it's been established that, while US never, by law, spied on its own citizens, it would spy on British citizens and give info to Britain, a reciprocal agreement.

Didn't realize Flag Telecom (an Indian co now) was an early starter on laying undersea fibre optic cable. Hey, while we're waiting for updates, here's a link to another interesting vessel, beside the Jimmy Carter.
One Hughes Ship



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by Cypher
This is why I was speculating that maybe the cutting of the cable was indeed caused by anchor dragging, albeit intentionally. That would allow a SEAL, SBS or other comparable spec-ops team to splice in a physical tap in another location on the line while traffic was down and therefore avoid detection of their intrusion.


Possible, maybe, but I see no point. The cable itself will now be down for several weeks until repair is affected, so no traffic is passing any tap on the line. Any traffic they would be interested in, assuming they could sift out what they wanted, is now traversing other routes instead.

Also, when the cable is repaired, if there is any unplanned segment or splicing in the fibre, attenuation levels may be out of bounds, causing the fibre to be unusable until that is remedied.


Originally posted by Cypher
Like I said before, I was purely speculating. After looking into it a little more, I do think the technology is available so that it might just be possible. However, there is still the problem of sifting the traffic for anything useful once you've placed the tap and on that, I'll have to go with your knowledge and assume that it would be prohibitive

Thanks guys,

-Cypher.


No problem speculating, it's nice to talk about something I actually know about for a change


I just don't think that it is feasible for anyone to tap a fibre. If it is that the signal is an STM-256, thats equivalent to 40GB/s of traffic, both voice and various forms of data. Prohibitively huge and varied amounts of data to sift through whilst time limited at sea.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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Anybody wonder if Nacy leader is right about the earths plates moving cuasing the cables to strech and come in the ships anchore path



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by preston067
 


That does happen. Plate techtonics do cause undersea cables to break.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:30 PM
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posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 06:43 PM
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Sorry for the one liners all.
I am not a good speller or a writer, But I beleave there is more to this story that meets the eye.
The wether alone is weird snow in the middle east and china! Somthing is going on and I think more pepole now are seeing it more than before.
Am I the only one ???



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 09:20 PM
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Not to beat a dead horse, but...



Originally posted by stumason
Any traffic they would be interested in, assuming they could sift out what they wanted, is now traversing other routes instead.


I was assuming that they would be more interested in having the tap on the line for when traffic is rerouted through it when the repairs to the broken section are completed.


Also, when the cable is repaired, if there is any unplanned segment or splicing in the fibre, attenuation levels may be out of bounds, causing the fibre to be unusable until that is remedied.


This is a very good point, and I think the main problem with my scenario. For, while subsequent reading has me almost convinced that it is indeed possible to tap a fiber line, your points have me almost as assured that it could not be done on a trunk line of that size without someone being able to tell.


No problem speculating, it's nice to talk about something I actually know about for a change


I just don't think that it is feasible for anyone to tap a fibre. If it is that the signal is an STM-256, thats equivalent to 40GB/s of traffic, both voice and various forms of data. Prohibitively huge and varied amounts of data to sift through whilst time limited at sea.


Again, I concede the point. I imagine that it would be possible to pipe that information somewhere else for dissection, ie: a satellite up-link buoy, and the NSA surely has data mining algorithyms that can parse data blocks of that size, but the effort involved for those aspects alone, not to mention the other points you made make it unrealistic.

Thank you again for indulging me, and imparting some of your knowledge. you've managed to reaffirm my faith in ATS in just a couple of posts.


-Cypher



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
reply to post by Now_Then
 


Doing what is called an OTDR, which is a test you can do by sending a pulse of light down the cable which can tell you exactly where the break is.

Also, there is no such thing as a "discreet" break in optical fibre. Once the cable is broken, the light is unable to propogate down the fibre properly, causing a signal failure. Also, if there were two breaks in the cable, they would be able to tell as OTDR tests from either end would give different results.

EDIT: link to OTDR tests

[edit on 2/2/08 by stumason]


But.... (big but) if the cable was broken in the first place, then hypothetically the cable is completely dead - the two broken ends could be millimetres or kilometres apart, it would make no difference, the cable is dead... No light would "propergate" at all (apart from entertaining some fish). This is when any 'tap' or as I put it "more discrete break" could conceivably of happened, doing that whilst the cable was live would surely be noted ~ doing the same when the cable is dead... well?



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


But they would do OTDR tests as soon as they realised they had a fibre break. If the A-end test reported it as in one location and the b-end reported it as another, then they would know they had two breaks and investigate accordingly, thus finding any "taps" placed on the line.


Propagate is a word by way



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 11:13 PM
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Maybe this is one of those other signs I spoke about earlier:




Israelis told to prepare 'rocket rooms' for war

Retired senior officers told Israelis on Saturday to prepare "rocket rooms" as protection against a rain of missiles expected to be fired at the Jewish state in any future conflict.

Speaking on radio as part of a military propaganda offensive, retired general Udi Shani said: "The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory."

Shani was tasked recently with drawing up a report on the way the military authorities operated during Israel's 2006 summer war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

More...



Hmmm...



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


I know propergate is a word (I have to use firefox spell checker, my spelling sucks) it was in speech marks cos it was your word!

But how can this device accurately pin point a break in the line via the use of light? (bearing in mind the device has to use electricity in it's circuits) the time it takes for the light to bounce back from any fault must be far smaller than the time taken to record the time in the first place - so it could be a useful fault finder, but it would have to continually calibrate it's self in order to work ~ it would have to calibrate it's self AFTER any repair was made... ergo AFTER any tap was also made.



posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Cypher
 


Have you ever seen what it takes for a Verizon tech to splice one line of fiber? It can not be done in the water. Verizon has ships made to pull up the line and run it through the ship to the splicing room. Imagine trying to splice two hairs together under water, Then doing that over and over till the whole set is done. It takes a Verizon tech all day to do one set above ground for a small housing development if things go good. Now imagine a large cable set with protective insulation.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 12:27 AM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


Not really, they know the speed of light inside a fibre and also, how do you think the multiplexors work when dealing with the light at either end?

I did provide a linky to a small wiki article earlier about it:



In telecommunication, an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) is an optoelectronic instrument used to characterize an optical fiber.

An OTDR injects a series of optical pulses into the fiber under test. It also extracts, from the same end of the fiber, light that is scattered back and reflected back from points in the fiber where the index of refraction changes. (This is equivalent to the way that an electronic TDR measures reflections caused by changes in the impedance of the cable under test.) The intensity of the return pulses is measured and integrated as a function of time, and is plotted as a function of fiber length.

An OTDR may be used for estimating the fiber's length and overall attenuation, including splice and mated-connector losses. It may also be used to locate faults, such as breaks.


If you don't believe me that this works, thats fine, but it does





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