Early one morning in April last year, someone accessed an underground vault just south of San Jose, California, and cut through fiber-optic cables there. The incident blacked out phone, Internet and 911 service for thousands of people in Silicon Valley.
Such incidents, often caused by vandals, seem fairly common, but exactly how often do they occur? Since 2007, the U.S. telecom infrastructure has been targeted by more than a thousand malicious acts that resulted in severe outages, according to data obtained by IDG from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Freedom of Information Act.
The reports themselves are confidential for national security and commercial reasons, but aggregate data provided by the FCC shows there were 1,248 incidents resulting in major outages over the last seven years. Continue reading
Even before it emerged that the National Security Agency had wiretapped her mobile phone, German ChancellorAngela Merkel was calling for the Internet to have something like Airbus — a joint European initiative able to compete with the dominance of American and Chinese high-tech companies, just as Airbus does with the US aerospace giant Boeing.
Currently, the global market for software and online services is firmly in American hands. What’s more, American corporations, such as Google, are subject to the Patriot Act, which requires them to allow American intelligence agencies access to their data centers. Continue reading