A jeopardised global network of undersea telecommunications cables

By Camille Morel

Since the mid-nineteenth century, the international network of undersea cables has been a recurring target for States through hostile interventions (cable cuts, intelligence practices, censorship…). Over time, however, the profile of those responsible for these actions, as well as their modi operandi have evolved, along with the international context and available technologies. In the fibre optic age, as the importance of submarine cables for the global economy and for society has increased, the deliberate deterioration of the network carries ever stronger symbolism and systemic effects. This paper seeks both to characterize the damage suffered by the network to date, and to analyse the political and strategic challenges raised by the jeopardisation of this infrastructure and its content.

  • networks
  • submarine cables
  • undersea cables
  • damages
  • outages
  • typology
  • ICT
  • communications
  • information
  • resilience
  • sabotage
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