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Russia Could Attack Underwater Internet Cables, Warns British Military Chief


According to Britain's military chief, Russian ships have been seen close to cables that carry communications between Europe and the United States. (file photo)

Britain's military chief says Russia could pose a major threat to NATO countries by attacking underwater communication cables crucial for international trade and the Internet.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of the defense staff, said Britain and NATO were prioritizing the protection of lines of communication.

Peach, who in September was appointed chair of the NATO military committee, said measures were being taken in response to the “threat posed by the modernization of the Russian Navy, both nuclear and conventional submarines and ships.”

"There is a new risk to our prosperity and way of life, to the cables that crisscross our sea beds, disruption to which through cable-cuts or destruction would immediately -- and catastrophically -- fracture both international trade and the Internet," Peach said to the Royal United Services Institute think-tank on December 14.

Peach said Russian ships have been seen close to cables that carry communications between Europe and the United States.

Based on reporting by the BBC and The Guardian
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