Authorities arrest divers trying to cut undersea cable off Egyptian coast

28 Mar 2013

Egypt’s coastguard has arrested three divers reportedly trying to cut through a subsea internet cable of telecommunications company Telecom Egypt. The damage to the cable slowed internet speeds in Egypt and other countries.

Reuters reported an army spokesman as having said a patrol stopped a fishing boat off the city of Alexandria and authorities arrested three men yesterday.

The cable is the South East Asia Middle East Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4), which is one of the main cables beneath the Mediterranean, Egyptian news agency Mena said.

The army spokesman did not say why the divers were cutting the cable, but they are due to be questioned.

While internet service disruptions have been linked to telecoms cables in the Mediterranean in the past, they have usually been attributed to weather conditions or accidents involving ship propellers.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic