Why are Russian submarines targeting undersea cables in the Atlantic?

The Washington Post reports that America’s NATO allies are growing increasingly nervous about Russia’s interest in undersea data cables. Such cables serve as the backbone of the internet and facilitate trillions of dollars in international trade. Russia’s submarine activity in the vicinity of major cables has increased in recent months, causing some to fear that Russia could intercept or even disrupt a significant portion of global internet traffic. Read more at source

To be fair, Russia is by no means unique in seeking to covertly access others countries’ communications infrastructure. During the Cold War, the U.S. used submarines in successful operations to eavesdrop on the Soviet military by physically tapping into cables on the ocean floor (see the Popular Mechanics article on “Operation Ivy Bells” here).

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