Russian Deep-Sea Operations and Canadian Cybersecurity Issues

  • Commission on Higher Education
  • 2022-03-11 14:43:35
  • 6679

The threat to sea lines of communication has been explored during a tabletop exercise conducted by the Centre for a New American Security in 2017. That tabletop exercise considered the impact of a Russian attack on NATO sea lines of communication off the coast of Ireland. According to public sources, “participants struggled to determine whose responsibility it was to restore the cables – the grey zone between state and private ownership of sea cables was a significant hurdle for policy- makers” (Buchanan, 2018). Melting ice and developments in technology have prompted a range of feasibility studies into the viability of a trans-Arctic sea cable route. Arctic Council permanent members Canada, Russia, the US, Norway, and Denmark have all, to varying degrees, undertaken assessments of potential Arctic data highways. To date, two Arctic routes have been touted, yet only one has made it to the development stage. The first route treks along the Northwest Passage, along Canada’s Arctic coastline. This cable links data from London to Tokyo and is well into development. Dubbed “Arctic Fibre”, and consisting of approximately 16,000 kilometres of cable, this route was originally a Canadian venture. In 2016 Arctic Fibre was acquired by Alaska-based firm Quintillion (Buchanan, 2018).

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