by Atlantic Council
The vast majority of intercontinental global Internet traffic—upwards of 95 percent—travels over undersea cables that run across the ocean floor. These hundreds of cables, owned by combinations of private and state-owned entities, support everything from consumer shopping to government document sharing to scientific research on the Internet. The security and resilience of undersea cables and the data and services that move across them are an often understudied and underappreciated element of modern Internet geopolitics. The construction of new submarine cables is a key part of the constantly changing physical topology of the Internet worldwide.