The Internet: Under the Sea and Possibly Under Threat

Email a Friend
From and

Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.

Consider this: Every text message you send, every status update you post on Facebook, and every online news story you read relies on something as archaic as a cable on the bottom of the sea.

The first undersea cable was laid in the 1850s, connecting Newfoundland and Ireland by telegraph. Over the years, the cables have increased in reach and capability, stretching out for tens of thousands of miles and reaching depths of up to 8,000 meters.

Of course, our reliance on undersea cables comes a fierce sense of protection, which is why U.S. Navy commanders are growing increasingly worried about Russia’s aggressive military operations around undersea cables.

Nicole Starosielski, author of “The Undersea Network” and a professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, provides a history of the cables and explains what's at stake.

What you'll learn from this segment:

  • A brief history of undersea telecommunications cables that date back over 150 years. 
  • How military operations might effect global communication.
  • How seriously we should take Russia's presence near these cables.

                        Click to Enlarge