Asian cables make US key asset list

Robert Clark
07 Dec 2010

International subsea cables feature extensively in the State Department’s list of critical infrastructure worldwide, according to a leaked cable.

The WikiLeaks document, a message from the Secretary of State in February 2009, contains a 2008 list of critical infrastructure and key resources (known as CI/KR) worldwide.

The memo asks embassies worldwide to update the CI/KR record.

But while the list includes cable systems and sources of key minerals such as cobalt, it does not contain other telecom-related infrastructure such as data centers.

The list of cables also appears to be incomplete. In Asia, it includes trans-Pacific or global cable systems EAC, China-US, Japan-US, Pacific Crossing, FLAG, Tyco and Southern Cross cables. It also covers regional systems such as C2C, which runs from Singapore to Japan, and the Korea-Japan cable.

However, it doesn’t reference any major cables to India, such as i2i or the SEA-ME-WE4 consortium cable, which are critical to providing IT services to US corporations.

Release of the memo, which asks embassies worldwide to update the CI/KR record, has prompted complaints that the information could aid terrorists in identifying targets.

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