Addressing vulnerability of global underseas cable infrastructure requires multilateral cooperation through UNCLOS
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Most of the solutions that have been put forward by scholars focus on the structural security issues alone and what governments must do to secure this vital infrastructure. Douglas Burnett argues that governments should follow the lead of Australia and Singapore and coordinate a single point of contact for undersea cable issues.106 He suggests that the U.S. Navy should reach out to naval allies such as Canada and France as well as to cable industry representatives and together develop cable-protection strategies that enable the navy to respond quickly to pirate and terrorist attacks.107 Commander Michael Matis of the U.S. Navy recommends creating a new international cable construction regulatory regime that would promote greater international cooperation and information sharing.108 As part of that effort, he urges the United States to immediately ratify UNCLOS and encourages UNCLOS members to collectively update their legislation to protect cables and make it an international crime to tamper with them.109 These scholars understand that any action to increase the safety of undersea cables must be international. Models have shown that a cable break off the coasts of Marseille could have detrimental effects on data flow in and out of India.110 In other words, merely increasing security in one's own waters will not be sufficient. Any security strategy must be global in scope.
Currently the vital U.S. underseas cable industry has to rely on the outdated 1884 telegraph treaty for its legal basis when defending its rights to lay, maintain, and repair underseas cables. U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would better protect U.S. companies’ existing cable systems and foster additional investments by giving telecommunications the legal certainty to their claims that they need.