Talk:2008 submarine cable disruption

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Name Change[edit]

I propose we change the name of the article to "2008 Under Sea cable disruption" as the current name is almost a weasle word trying to imply this was caused by a military submarine. I understand Submarine is inteded to describe the cables as being under water but it's a little too close to the conspiracy theories to be included in the title. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Macutty (talkcontribs) 22:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Take it up with this article first: Submarine communications cable That's where the name for this article is derived from. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I understand it is the technically correct name for the type of cable, but at the same time its misleading to the lay person and is most likely why every major news organization (including those cited in the article) is referring to this as an undersea cable. With the conspiracy theories revolving around the idea that a submarine is to blame for these events I think it just makes sense. Macutty (talk) 14:21, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
    • After diggin through all the citations and noticing that even wikipedias front page is referring to this as an undersea cable i think its reasonable to change the name of the article now. Macutty (talk) 19:18, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The title of the article on the main page contains an error. "Damages to several undersea cables disrupt internet services in parts of Asia and Africa". It should read "Damage . . .", without an "s". Damages is a legal term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

5 cables cut[edit]

Undisclosed earlier cut of FALCON cable along a different section than the Feb 1st cut as reported by Zawya Dow Jones/Khaleej Times - the same news outlet who reported on earlier cable cuts. Brings total number of cuts to 5, with 2 being on the same line but between separate landing points. See wikipedia article on FALCON for map and visual representation of how there can be multiple cuts on same line between different landing points.

"A total of five cables being operated by two submarine cable operators have been damaged with a fault in each.

These are SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) near Penang, Malaysia, the FLAG Europe-Asia near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast, FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran and SeaMeWe-4, also near Alexandria.

The first cut in the undersea Internet cable occurred on January 23, in the Flag Telcoms FALCON submarine cable which was not reported. This has not been repaired yet and the cause remains unknown, explained Jaishanker.

A major cut affecting the UAE occurred on January 30 in the SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4). "This was followed by another cut on February 1 which was on the same cable (FALCON). This affected the du network majorly as connections from the Gulf were severed while there was limited connectivity within the region," said Khaled Tabbara, executive director, Carrier Relations, du."

Someone who thinks they are capable and who has the time on their hands needs to see about updating the article

  • If I am understanding this correctly, the FALCON cable was cut twice: once on Jan 23 (not reported) and again on Feb 1 (reported) This brings the total up to four cables and five cuts. Correct? --God Ω War 00:09, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

    • FALCON from my understanding, while referred to as a single cable, is actually made up of nearly a dozen physical cable connections crossing 7 or 8 different countries with landing points in Suez, Jeddah, Al Hudaydah, Al Ghaydah, Al Seeb, Khasab, Doha, Manama, Ad Dammam, Kuwait City, and Mumbai. It appears to have been cut along two separate legs. Maybe its just splitting hairs but it seems that should count as 5 cables cut, however, 2 of those cut cables were part of a larger connection providing connectivity to multiple countries. Each individual leg provides connectivity between landing points. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Conspiracy theory citations[edit]

I have no problem with a reliably sourced section giving speculation that the cause may be something other than what's officially reported, but could we get some decent sources if we're going to do that? We currently cite a handful of blogs as our "sources" for that claim. --Delirium (talk) 07:41, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Couldn't agree more, Wikipedia needs to crack-down on all the blog spam. I removed 2 blog references and replaced them with a link to an article on a reliable website. --RucasHost (talk) 14:30, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
The liveleak citation is a joke. I want to delete it along with whatever "information" cites it as the source. But I don't know wikipedia ethics. I think it is in the interest of information integrity to delete language with uncertain credibility, but can I make that judgement call? Thanks --j_y_p 10:42, 5 February 2008 (EST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by J y p (talkcontribs)

What caused that, is definitely is not what is reported "Ships' Anchors", "Weather Conditions"... I mean is it a coincidence that the cutting of four high speed internet communications cables that feed most of the Middle East and some parts of Asia, all just happened at the same time?? I don't think so ... Somebody was up to something, something big. However nothing can be proven ... I just hope to find out what REALLY caused this ... Abdallah (talk) 18:48, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, anyone who thinks this is a coincidence is complete fool. It was pretty obvious that something was up when 3 cables were cut, now 4? It must also be a "coincidence" that the Iranian oil bourse was supposed to open around this time, which would be another serious assault on the already dieing US dollar. --RucasHost (talk) 20:10, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Whether that's true or not isn't Wikipedia's job to determine, though. We should report what all sides say, sticking to reliable sources, and leave it at that. --Delirium (talk) 23:07, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I have seen mainstream press references to a conspiracy theory. As far as I remember they were in reference to Iran internet/voice access. Will try to find them again. Ansell 02:09, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I concur with Delirium; regardless of our personal feelings on the subject, something said on Wikipedia should be backed up by reliable sources. Ansell, If you can find them, please do add citations. I've tagged the conspiracy theory section {{unreferencedsect}} to try to draw attention to the lack of sources. The only source I've run across was a comment by Bruce Schneier on his blog -- speculation, certainly, but no indication whether or not it's unfounded. (And citing it as speculation seems to be original research to me... A source explicitly saying "there's been speculation" would make a much stronger citation.) • WarpFlyght (talkcontribs) 09:31, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
It turns out Schneier updated his blog with a new link. It provides a source that I can cite. I'll cite it, change {{unreferencedsect}} to {{refimprovesect}}, and rewrite that section. • WarpFlyght (talkcontribs) 09:34, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I think Osama did it, he's had enough of the internet, especially wikipedia! He was muttering about it when he walked past me in his wetsuit with those wire-snips the other morning! --LookingYourBest (talk) 12:05, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
If we are going to list all the conspiracy theories, then we should give equal time to each one no matter how ridiculous. Theories that include aliens or sharks with laser beams on their heads should not be excluded. If we are going to exclude one conspiracy theory, we should exclude them all.Schism500 (talk) 23:20, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
WarpFlyght, there do not appear to be many references to the content of any of the conspiracies. The sources that are in the opening paragraph are okay to support the statement just about the existence, but they can't really be used for a section of any depth. It is inevitable that the mainstream media will begin to take some of the theories up at some stage, I guess, given the lack of satisfactory official explanations for coincidental (temporally) events. Ansell 22:40, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

This article might be useful to use and cite: "Cable Cut Fever Grips the Web". Wired News. February 6, 2008.  Check date values in: |date= (help). --Delirium (talk) 02:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps this too [1]. I also came across something suggesting Flag Telecom had issued a statement to counteract the insane conspirary theories suggesting it's reached a level where it needs a small mention at least Nil Einne (talk) 09:36, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


It says that 70% of Indian internet was affected by this, yet on the map called "areas affected" India isn't even on it! Speedboy Salesman (talk) 08:11, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that India managed to re-rout their traffic to Asia and beyond given their geographical location. So it's fixed! Unfortunate for most of the arab world however, this is not a option. (talk) 17:27, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Map could use an explanation[edit]

All I see is two ovals in the bottom right corner, and a couple numbers elsewhere. The map really needs an explanation. tildetildetildetilde —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


I guess it is worth mentioning, Iran is still online. Wired It is possible Iran is using satellites to reroute traffic. Can anyone find a source to cite on that? -- (talk) 23:40, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, for discussion's sake, are you very surprised? Look at a map, you'll see you don't need satellites to link Iran to Europe or to the rest of Asia; it's not exactly like Iran is an Island. The whole point of the Internet is that it is practically impossible to take down. That's the reason it was created the way it was originally: it was meant as a network that works reliably even in case of disruptions caused by an attack. If you cut one cable, traffic automatically reroutes through other cables. Now if a big cable, carrying a lot of traffic, is cut, all this traffic may overload the remaining cables and slow everything down, but to block a region completely is almost impossible. It would require cutting all links to a country, not just one or two big ones. --j_y_p 14:1942, 7 February 2008 (EST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by J y p (talkcontribs) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
However it is surprisingly easy to cause very major disruptions to certain regions. For example the earthquake last year brought traffic including expensive telco voice calls to much of East Asia and South East Asia to a crawl. The problem is that even though it would make sense to have multiple links e.g. through Australia, through Europe etc in reality most of the links are trans Pacific and they all go through the same tiny earthquake prone area! It's true of course that the areas weren't completely cut off and I would assume many governments links remained working fairly well and of course in an emergency they could have cut off non-essential communication ensuring but the fact remains from a commercial and end user viewpoint, you can effectively bring international communication to a crawl Nil Einne (talk) 09:30, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
What would be the point of cutting it to just a crawl? If you are going to cut a countries communications, do it so that their entire network is destroyed.Schism500 (talk) 23:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

8 cables cut?[edit] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:13, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I didn't read the *whole* article, but I would like to see an actual article on each cable that was cut. I haven't heard anything besides the current 5. ArcaneKnowledge (talk) 00:41, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


inb4 tinfoil hats. lulz -SEANATUB —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

"Common occurrence" section[edit]

It says that cable cuts are frequent, but they were relevant here because of so few cables to the Middle East. But, if there are so few of the cables in the world are there, isn't it statistically significant that four of the cables which broke last week were there? --Army1987 (talk) 12:57, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if it's significant or not. These two experts think it isn't a big deal. The purpose of Wikipedia is to present the alternative theories, not to decide which one is true. Cop 663 (talk) 13:38, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

USS Jimmy Carter[edit]

In 1998 Congress agreed to retrofit the USS Jimmy Carter so they could tap submarine fiber optic cables. Read all about it on zdnet: | Spy agency taps into undersea cable —Preceding unsigned comment added by God of War (talkcontribs) 05:13, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Not sure what this has to do with these events, I'm removing it until there some direct link between the two. RxS (talk) 06:51, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I see I got blindly doesn't even mention the 2008 is this relevant? Where is the connection? Please don't add unrelated content to articles. See WP:NOT RxS (talk) 07:07, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


Commercial plug in effects section?

On February 1, 2008, VSNL (NYSE: VSL), a leading communications solutions provider in India, confirmed that the company restored a majority of its IP connectivity into the MENA region within 24 hours of the Egypt cable breakdown. Services were largely restored within 24 hours of the cable cut by diverting traffic through the TIC and SEA-ME-WE 3 cables.[23]

A number of communications service providers have issued press releases in the last couple of weeks bragging about how well their individual services held up during the outage. The tone of the above quote suggests that it is a variant on such a release; that it is a commercial advertisement and not a legitimate part of this story. Steve Radant (talk) 04:50, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Two cables restored[edit]

The FLAG Europe Asia and FALCON cable have been restored, someone update the article. Reference: (talk) 19:19, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Jan 30 SEA-ME-WE 4 cut not near Marseilles (common misinformation)[edit]

The '30 January' section currently (Feb 18) incorrectly indicates that SEA-ME-WE 4 was cut near Marseilles, citing a Jan 31 NYT article.(Timmons, Heather (2008-01-31). "2 Communication Cables in the Mediterranean Are Cut". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  Check date values in: |date= (help)) Heather Timmons (the article's writer) informs me via e-mail that this is incorrect, and early information that SEA-ME-WE 4 was severed near Marseilles which came via Verizon proved not to be true. The Jan 30 breaks were in fact 'off of Alexandria.' (She also said NYT was gonna run a correction, but I couldn't find it.)

Articles subsequently placed the break either near Marseilles (incorrect) or Alexandria (correct.) Since both are citable, I'm choosing to cite the correct one, and am swapping the erroneous 1-30 NYT article for this more correct 2-5- CNN article. (The article graphic correctly puts the break near Alexandria, yay!)

For what it's worth, though SEA-ME-WE4 has released no public statement on the break's location Tahani Karrar tells me (via e-mail) that the break is 12km north of Alexandria. (I think she got that as gossip from FLAG, whom she interviewed, not SEA-ME-WE. So still no official word.) Not citable, but I mention it here in case it's useful later. -Deriksmith (talk) 21:34, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Possible cause: techtonic plates movement[edit]

Arabian-plate on the move? Earthquakes first and then easier targets for ship anchors, if not cut from the movements of the plates. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

While this is quite late after the events, the question asked makes no sense at all. Tectonic plates move at a rate of an inch to two inches per year, what is suggested would require movements of yards (meters) when there were no significant earthquakes occurring at the general time frame. I know of that firsthand, as I was in the region at the time the outage occurred and knew within hours from our intelligence that it was a carelessly dropped anchor that cut the cable and impacted US CENTCOM operations.Wzrd1 (talk) 11:04, 9 February 2015 (UTC)


Given that Flag FEA, GO-1, SMW3, and SMW4 are all down now, shouldn't this be moved to January and February 2008 submarine cable disruptions? JCDenton2052 (talk) 12:35, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 21:34, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

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Dead link 3[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

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Removed one conspiracy theory from Feb 2008[edit]

Claiming sabotage. In April 2008, two men from two ships were arrested and charged, their companies agreeing to pay damages for anchoring in a forbidden area during a storm that dragged the anchors through the lines. Wzrd1 (talk) 23:35, 22 June 2015 (UTC)