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A Fourth Cable‽

Via Wampum I have learned that a fourth cable between the islands of Haloul and Das in the Persian Gulf is now down, although the word is that it is a power problem and not a physical break, like the other three.

Move along, citizens, nothing to see here…happens all the time…well, occasionally…OK, so three cables have never been out at the same time before, but nothing to be concerned about and it’s just a coincidence that they are all running from or affecting the same area.


1 Frederick { 02.04.08 at 7:18 pm }

I get allot of hits from people looking for a glimpse of Britney’s cooter from these countries. I’m awful upset.

2 Bryan { 02.04.08 at 8:28 pm }

I suspect that someone got a deal on some cheap Chinese underwater cable.

3 Kryten42 { 02.04.08 at 11:17 pm }

Curiously, the first 3 cables were supplied by Fujitsu. I don’t know who supplied this one. Maybe it was Fujitsu also and they have some QA issues… or maybe NEC (or Toshiba or ‘insert any of many pissed off competitors here‘) decided that Fujitsu’s stock prices were getting a bit too good. 😉

I don’t know about you Bryan, but when I was intel, we had more work with industrial (or commercial) espionage/sabotage than Political. Nothing is more important than money in this world.

4 Bryan { 02.04.08 at 11:32 pm }

When I was in Kryten we still had a Constitution and that sort of thing was frowned upon when the military did, so it was passed on to the Department of State or Department of Commerce, but, yes, there is a hell of a lot of commercial or industrial espionage that you have to reject to find the stuff you are looking for. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find a multinational behind sabotage.

I would guess the professionals at Commerce [if there are any left] are checking to see what contracts are coming up in the cable business, because the Egyptians are now saying there were no ships near the Med breaks and the area is restricted.

5 Kryten42 { 02.05.08 at 1:41 am }

Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply my people had anything to do with promoting or enabling industrial/commercial espionage etc. We spent most of our time trying to discover who was behind it all. It kept us busier than any Political/Military espionage. We followed a lot of the convoluted money trails to eventual dead ends. Cayman Islands were popular, or one of the several other financial safe havens. Though, it wouldn’t surprise me under Howard (or Bush) that the intel services have to dance for their budgets and do favors they wouldn’t normal do. I know for a fact ASIO has never had any qualms about that, they’d do anything to get their budget.

People ‘out there’ have no idea really what happens in the hidden real world. espionage in all it’s forms is really the norm. Same as crime, in all it’s forms.

Someone asked me not long ago if I regret knowing what I know. Some days, I do.

6 fallenmonk { 02.05.08 at 7:04 am }

Not that I ever voluntarily violated anyone’s Constitutional Rights but let’s just say that some of the things we did were stamped TOP SECRET Codeword and would never see the light of day. When you are walking the edge in such things as telephone intercept and the like, sometimes you accidentally gather stuff that is not material to the mission. You see it and forget it but still the other person’s rights have been violated. My fear today is that the government is not “forgetting it” and aren’t at all embarrassed to have gathered information that has nothing to do with “Homeland Security”(Goddess I hate that phrase!)but that might prove useful in some other way.

7 Michael { 02.05.08 at 8:53 am }

Might that be why your domain server seems to have trouble? I can’t read your blog from home, and it’s difficult anywhere else.

8 Bryan { 02.05.08 at 9:07 am }

I didn’t take that meaning at all, Kryten, but under the American system the military, and I was in the military, is strictly required to stay with military things, which commercial espionage is certainly not. Other people in other agencies were tasked with watching those operations, which is why you pass it on, after you determine what it is. For my shop it was something to filter out.

There was no way of knowing until after you looked at it what you had, but it wasn’t targeted, and it was more paperwork if you didn’t catch it quickly. This was complicated by the fact that you had anomalies, like the largest chunk of the US Alaskan telephone system was actually operated by the Air Force for a very long time. The military needed a landline system and no company would spend the money, so excess capacity was leased out to a private system. That was a major communications security nightmare. The same situation occurred in other countries as well, so the line of demarcation wasn’t clear, especially when you get to the problem of companies with military contracts.

Many multinationals operate as de facto countries and inject themselves into “the game”.

FM, it sounds like they have erased the line and it will have to be chiseled in bedrock by the next administration – the military doesn’t involve itself with civilian activities. There are too many serving and former military officers in the intel community, and too much military activity in civilian areas.

9 Bryan { 02.05.08 at 10:54 am }

My problem, Michael, is the server for my top level domain, .us, which went wacky last week and is slowly returning to usability. There have been a lot of registrations, and while the .us is the TLD for the United States, it has generally been handled by non-profits or universities. Apparently they shifted to a new server farm or organization and it is taking a while for the change to propagate through the ‘Net. I have watched the routing and it is hanging on a time-out doing the look up.

Actually, I think I’ll blame it on del.icio.us eating up all the server time.

Things are getting better, slowly. It works for a while, and then I have to re-try, but only once for the last couple of days.

10 Scorpio { 02.05.08 at 4:30 pm }


Those cables knock Iran’s traffic to zero.

Somehow, I don’t believe in that kind of accidental.

11 Bryan { 02.05.08 at 5:57 pm }

They have repairs ships on station off of Egypt now, so we should get some real information, like whether it was an eight or a twelve tooth per inch hacksaw used to cut through them. 😉

Iran can route through Russia and satellites, but India and the gulf States are really hurting, as is Egypt. The business impact is major the Gulf States and India, as they have become over reliant on the ‘Net and haven’t implemented alternate paths, except for satellites.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all to have about a dozen cable layers suddenly show up in the area with plans to relieve the “poor, affected countries” from a burden of too many Euros. I would expect a number of them will want to go through Russia.

12 Kryten42 { 02.05.08 at 9:58 pm }

Ya know Bryan… you are as cynical realistic, as I am about all this! 😉 LOL

I wouldn’t be surprised either. 😉

…watch this space…

13 Kryten42 { 02.05.08 at 10:04 pm }

BTW Bryan, I mean to say about your post above…

I understand what you are saying about Military vs. civilian intel. Was like that here also, until Fraser and then Howard got in and blurred the lines (or just destroyed any boundaries at all, like Raygun and Bushmoron did there).

I remember when the Military had clearly defined rules, boundaries and tasks. Now most Gov’s seem to think the Military is their own private force to do with as they will. And the Military morons allow it! *sigh*

One day, I’ll wake up and the World will be normal and understandable. One day. 🙂

14 Bryan { 02.05.08 at 10:58 pm }

The US reasons are tied to the American Civil War and the aftermath, so messing around with the balance can generate some nasty blow back is some regions of the country. Some of the problems with the Federal response to Katrina were a direct result of the Feds not understanding what Federal troops taking over meant in that region of the country, and the additional problem of the whackos who see government conspiracies everywhere. No one believes when I tell them that I would love to think that the CIA could pull off a conspiracy that that half the planet didn’t know about by lunch.

When you mix roles for the military things get vague. You can’t have vague on a battlefield, you have to act instinctively. People who have never had the experience of being shot at, don’t understand why the rules need to be black and white in a war.

In a civilian environment, they can’t be that way, because it is rarely a matter of life or death, and you have to be open to shades of gray or you’re going to spend all your time in court.

When weapons are involved you have to have clear rules.

15 Kryten42 { 02.06.08 at 3:45 am }

This is why I REALLY hate the military involvement in so-called “Peace Keeping Missions’ like the one i was involved in Cambodia.

You cannot give a soldier a long list of people who they can and can’t shoot at, and change it often and NOT expect things to go horribly wrong. A soldier on a battlefield doesn’t want ambiguities! They get them killed and they know it.

It’s also VERY bad to expect a soldier to be happy about going into a village and seeing (and smelling) a lot of fresh corpses, and then telling them that they are not allowed to go after the bastards that did it (because it’s not Politically expedient!) You do that to a good solder a few times, and he begins questioning everything. And one day, he either kills himself, or anyone around him. You cannot train a solder that “this is an enemy. When you see an enemy, you kill them”. and then send them to a hellhole and say “This is an enemy. You are not allowed to kill this enemy until we tell you too.” And too bad if the enemy kills you first!

If I had truly known what Cambodia would be like for us, I would have shot the commanders sending us there!

I lost any and all respect for the Military after that. And their usual excuse “We were just following orders” doesn’t cut it with me.

Soldiers kill or be killed. That’s it. If you expect anything else, you are going to end up with a lot of very screwed up people on your hands when they get back! I shudder to think what the US will be like when your soldiers in Iraq get back, if they do.

16 Bryan { 02.06.08 at 3:40 pm }

“Peace Keeping” is what the police do, and what the police are trained for, it is not a military mission and using combat troops leads to major problems for everyone involved. The Military has civil affairs units that train specifically for this type of mission, but no one has enough of them to make a difference.

The people at the top have to make the decision that they want to keep the peace or they are intent on waging war and choose the people on that basis. When the war has ended, you get the combat troops out or prepare for the backlash, because the troops can’t throw a switch and change instinctive behavior.

The politicians don’t understand, and will never understand the difference, and a lot of people on all sides of many conflicts are dying as a result.

The UN needs it’s own force of specifically trained peacekeepers for these missions, but the politicians don’t want to give up the power.