The breakage of the fibre-optic cables somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea has brought down internet and telephone connectivity by 80% in India and created a communication blackout for Maldives. Trailing ship anchors and undersea earthquakes are the main reasons behind such cable cuts. The picture shows the affected cable area near Sicily.
This shows that we are vulnerable to terrorist attacks on these cables. Disruption of the net will have serious repercussions on our economies. For example, it can bring down VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) crucial for outsourcing and call centre services of India's IT industry . It will also disrupt crucial financial transactions and stock exchanges. In this age of interconnectivity, the cables are the major arteries of our economy and if any anti-national agency wishes, it can cripple these bloodlines without major technical or financial effort. It wouldnt take them the years of planning that went behind 9/11 or 26/11 to create havoc of greater economic magnitude.
Countries be warned!! Step up efforts to ensure protection to these under water cable links. Though there hasn't been any such attempt till now by terrorists, we must know our weaknesses and be prepared.
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