Conspiracy theorists ponder ongoing web outage
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 08/02/2008 10:40
Three undersea cables carrying vital web traffic were cut within four days last week, and no one yet knows why
One of the most intriguing internet mysteries of recent times - which has puzzled conspiracy theorists and experts alike - deepened today when experts said they were still no closer to establishing why a cable under the Mediterranean broke last week, causing a serious disruption to the world's internet traffic.
Today a ship moved into position off the coast of Egypt and began repair work on the cable. It was one of three undersea cables between Europe and Asia to be damaged in the space of four days last week, causing networks to collapse in Egypt, Kuwait, and as far away as India.
Early reports suggested that a ship which had been forced to drop its anchor in heavy seas accidentally snapped the cable, which is buried only half a metre beneath the ocean floor, but a spokesman for the company which runs it said today it could be a week until the cause is known.
Cable Cut Fever Grips the Web
Are underseas telecom cable cuts the new IEDs?
After two underwater cable cuts in the Middle East last week severely impacted countries from Dubai to India, alert netizens voiced suspicions that someone -- most likely Al Qaeda -- intentionally severed the cables for their own nefarious purposes, or that the U.S. cut them as a lead-in to an attack on Iran.
Then two more cables failed in the same area, one in a segment connecting Qatar to an island in the United Arab Emirates, and another in a link between Oman and the UAE. The former wasn't even a cut -- it was a power failure, but you can't keep a good conspiracy theory down; some news sites are even reporting incorrectly that Iran is cut off from the internet, and claiming that there's a fifth cut, which turns out to be an unexceptional cable failure from weeks ago.