Skip to content
DALL·E 2023-07-09 21.30.24 – A modernist painting of a shark eating internet cables under the sea with muted colors.

The Internet Is at the Bottom of the Sea

And no, sharks are not eating it.

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: DALL-E
Date:
album-art

Sorry, no results.
Please try another keyword
  • We need the internet. No, seriously. In 2023, the digital realm isn’t so much a portal as it is the undercurrent of our lives: The web carries our culture, our communication, our bank accounts — and, yes, our global security. But all of that traffic flows through a series of cables at the bottom of[...]
00:00

We need the internet. No, seriously. In 2023, the digital realm isn’t so much a portal as it is the undercurrent of our lives: The web carries our culture, our communication, our bank accounts — and, yes, our global security.

But all of that traffic flows through a series of cables at the bottom of the ocean. And lately, we’ve been worrying a lot about it up on dry land: Asking what happens when something — or someone — cuts those cables. Should we really be so worried?

This is a story about volcanoes and sharks, entrepreneurs and politicians. It’s also about none of those things. Welcome back to Things That Go Boom.

Guests:

Nicole Starosielski, New York University; Marian Kupu, Broadcom Broadcasting; Ryan Wopschall, ICPC; Darren Griffiths, Optic Marine; Camino Kavanagh, King’s College London

Additional Reading:

Inside the Subsea Cable Firm Secretly Helping America Take on China, Joe Brock, Reuters

The Undersea Network, Nicole Starosielski, Duke University Press

Wading Murky Waters: Subsea Communications and Responsible State Behavior, Camino Kavanaugh, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research

Decoupling is Already Happening Under The Sea, Elisabeth Braw, Foreign Policy

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.

LEARN MORE

Hey there!

You made it to the bottom of the page! That means you must like what we do. In that case, can we ask for your help? Inkstick is changing the face of foreign policy, but we can’t do it without you. If our content is something that you’ve come to rely on, please make a tax-deductible donation today. Even $5 or $10 a month makes a huge difference. Together, we can tell the stories that need to be told.

album-art

Sorry, no results.
Please try another keyword
  • Political Scientist Cynthia Enloe is, arguably, the reason we’re all here. She was one of the first to explore gender in international relations, and the first to ask, “Where are the women?” But what she meant when she asked that question? It’s been lost in a sea of nuances around feminism and feminist foreign policy.[...]
00:00

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS