YEREVAN. - Three out of four cables connecting Armenia to the global network were damaged in Georgia twice over the recent 16 days.
The last damage cut off majority of the Armenian internet users. Three days later Georgian sources reported it was caused by Hayastan Shakaryan, a 75 years old woman of Armenian origin. Georgian Internal Ministry said the woman was looking for copper near the village of Ksani on March 28 and damaged fiber optic cable.
All the mentioned events could still happen but there are certain facts that cast doubt on disclosure by the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Firstly, the cable was damaged at the section having strategic importance from the viewpoint of information security.
Secondly, Georgians note that the woman was looking for copper but forgot that fiber optic backbone cable is made of fiber optic, not copper.
Another point is whether 75-year-old woman is physically capable to digging in and removing a cable. The arrested woman also claimed she could not. If we imagine that she managed to do it then she had to spend the whole day digging and removing it. In this case why was this fact neglected by Georgian controllers who are ensuring security of a key junction providing considerable part of Armenia and Georgia with the internet?
Finally, Georgian Internal Ministry named the suspect only three days after she was arrested. Why were they concealing her name for three days?
The case resembles a farce especially after part of cables connecting Armenia to the World Wide Web was damaged again on April 7. This time Georgian side failed to find “grandma looking for copper”.
Surprisingly, the Armenian officials responsible for information security are still silent. Neither National Security Council, nor other institution issued any statement commenting on these events. One gets an impression that those responsible for information security do not understand importance of the internet both for the state and population.
Once such an accident occurs overseas, joint inter-governmental groups are set up to investigate causes of the damage and assesses financial losses.
In this case governmental institutions should protect interests of the internet operators functioning in Armenia, as legally this case is considered force majeure and companies cannot protect their interest in courts.
Armenian institutions should clearly explain to Georgian neighbors that ensuring of Armenia’s internet security should be perfectly fulfilled.
Presently Armenia is connected to the internet through 6 foreign channels – four in Georgia and two in Iran.