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Sabotage suspected in Egypt submarine cable cut

The submarine internet cable, SEA-ME-WE 4, links at least 14 countries from France to Singapore

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Egypt said it has arrested three men suspected of slicing a crucial undersea Internet cable on Wednesday, causing widespread problems from Kenya to Pakistan.

The South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable runs 12,500 miles from France to Singapore, with branches connecting telecommunication companies in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia and Algeria.

Egypt published photos of three men in a boat with their hands tied along with scuba diving tanks. The men were apprehended just offshore where SEA-ME-WE 4 reaches land, according to a Facebook posting purportedly by Egypt's military.

Egypt's Facebook account could not be immediately verified with the social networking company, but Telecom Egypt also wrote about the arrests on its Twitter feed.

SEA-ME-WE 4 is a major cable, said Doug Madory, senior research engineer for Renesys, a company that monitors global internet activity by collecting data on how traffic is routed to different service providers around the world. The cable stopped carrying traffic at 6:20 UTC on Wednesday, he said.

Undersea cables can break due to earthquakes or ship anchors, Madory said. There are fewer than 10 ships worldwide that are equipped to repair underseas cables, he said. But Egypt's might be easier for fix since it is closer to shore, he said.

If the allegation of sabotage is true, "that is just staggering," Madory said. Renesys posted a graph on Twitter showing the outage affecting countries, including Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Saudi Arabia.

At least 614 networks that connect to Telecom Egypt were not working, Madory said. Hundred of smaller networks that connect to Pakistan's Transworld Associates network were also down, he said.

Renesys monitors routing information for 400 telecommunication companies worldwide. When a cable does down, Internet routers run by telecoms are designed to reroute traffic. But smaller networks that are dependant on a sole large provider to the cable could remain offline until it is fixed, Madory said.



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Comments

james said: Strange The Internet was designd to function if large parts of the network fails

wakeywakey said: whoever or what ever it all goes to show how vunerable it all isand sure as be a foreign interest involved

Chris said: and this is not the first time either Just a few years ago no fewer than three undersea cables failed simultaneously One failure is unfortunate two failures is inconvenient - but three More than coincidence Israelis maybe But there are many others who might benefit from a fractured Internet Especially in the current climate

AASIFF said: Bull Shit The Israelis tapped into the line for their intelligence It is Mini Me of USA trying to be a regional super power You wanna bet They just bungled



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