Despite the common notion popularized by fiction, the majorities of communications do not pass through by satellites, but by cables placed on the seabed. About 250 cables connect continents and carry data, as well as telephone calls. The traffic is estimated at 99% in this way.
In case of problem on a submarine cable (cut or damaged), the Internet can slow down in concerned countries, as long as the operators reroute the connections. In March 2013 divers cut a cable causing an Internet slowdown in several countries, such as Pakistan.
Based on documents published by Edward Snowden, German newspapers have revealed that the British secret services are spying communications through the submarine cables which end up on their coasts. These cables link Europe to the United States, but also Russia. (suite…)