Posted By Rich Miller On February 20, 2008 @ 3:55 pm In Downtime | Comments Disabled
The has been a resurgence in speculation that some of the recent Middle East communications cable cuts were the result of intentional sabotage. Today the story has appeared at Ars Technica , Wired , InformationWeek  and even The Wall Street Journal  and been Dugg wildly . Has evidence emerged to support the theories that the cables were cut ?
Not exactly. The blogospheric burst of sabotage speculation resulted from a vague statement by a UN official  to Agence France Press. “We do not want to preempt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago,” the UN agency’s head of development, Sami al-Murshed, told AFP.
There’s a big difference between “we do not rule out” and “we have discovered actual evidence” of foul play. Others tracking the outages have heard nothing to suggest any sabotage, apart from the proximity of the outages in time and geography. Stephan Beckert of TeleGeography told Wired Threat Level that his company keeps in very close touch with the companies that run and fix telecom cables and hasn’t heard anything about sabotage. “To my mind, it is just speculation,” Beckert said. “There is no point in ruling anything out, but I don’t think speculation does anyone any good.” Renesys also has a Cable Breaks: Lessons Learned  post that reviews the likelihood that the damage was unlikely to turn out to be sabotage. At least one of the breaks has proven to be the result of a ship anchor.
Does Mr. al-Murshed know something? At the very least, he knows how to energize a rumor. Here’s a recap of our coverage thus far:
Article printed from Data Center Knowledge: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com
URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/02/20/cable-cut-sabotage-rumors-resurface/
URLs in this post:
 Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080219-undersea-saboteurs-may-have-been-responsible-for-cable-cuts.html
 Wired: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/02/un-official-fee.html
 InformationWeek: http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=206800557
 The Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2008/02/20/cut-cable-conspiracy-theories-get-new-life/?mod=googlenews_wsj
 Dugg wildly: http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Undersea_saboteurs_may_have_been_responsible_for_cable_cuts
 cables were cut: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Feb/03/cable_cuts_coincidences_and_conspiracies.html
 vague statement by a UN official: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080218/tc_afp/gulfmideastinternet_080218163418;_ylt=AkmbFRx_gIGoB6aXHrQJBHWNOrgF
 Cable Breaks: Lessons Learned: http://www.renesys.com/blog/2008/02/cable_breaks_lessons_learned_1.shtml
 Ship Anchor Caused Dubai Cable Cut: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Feb/08/ship_anchor_caused_dubai_cable_cut.html
 Cable Fever and the ‘Fifth Cut’: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Feb/07/cable_cut_fever_and_the_fifth_cut.html
 Submarine Cable Repairs Underway: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Feb/06/submarine_cable_repairs_underway.html
 Egypt: Ships Didn’t Cut Internet Cable: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Feb/04/egypt_ships_didnt_cut_internet_cable.html
 Cable Cut Disrupts Middle East Net traffic: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Jan/30/cable_cut_disrupts_middle_east_net_traffic.html
 Rich Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/richm/
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