Sean Donelan sean at donelan.com
Wed Mar 9 00:46:19 UTC 2022

On Tue, 8 Mar 2022, Michael Thomas wrote:
> Hi, I was reading an article on why Russia hasn't taken out Ukraine's mobile 
> networks and one of the premises was that they could use it to eavesdrop on 
> calls.

During World War I, the British Empire did this.  It strategically cut 
telegraph cables with Germany to force telegraph traffic to other cables 
which the British Empire could monitor.


However, that is an obsolete strategy. It is occasionally used since WWII. 
Other than in Hollywood movies, nation-states have other less obvious ways 
to eavesdrop on civilian infrastructure. It might still be used for 
so-called 'black fiber' (military circuits), which is different than 
'dark fiber.'

Non-state actors are more likely to target civilian telecommunications 
infrastructure, e.g. the Taliban used to blow up cell towers in 
Afghanistan until the telco agreed to shutdown cell service during 
certain hours.

Disclaimer: I don't know current russian military doctrine.

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