Russia could be developing plans to sever key internet communications during future wars, according to a report in the New York Times.
The article reports that various military sources are concerned about a spike in Russian naval activity near the locations of undersea cables.
Such cables are vital to the internet’s daily running and constantly ferry huge amounts of data between continents.
There are many thousands of miles of them, snaking under the world’s oceans.
But could Russian submarines really be investigating ways of cutting these crucial cords?
Russia watchers have long been aware of the threat, says Keir Giles, associate fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at think tank Chatham House.
However, he added that cutting the US off from the web would probably be impossible because of the number of connections going in and out of the country.
“I very much doubt that anyone would think of cutting off the US,” he comments. “It is only going to work in locations where the internet geography is going to create a vulnerability in communications.”