Wicker Leads Briefing on Russian Submarine Activity

Senators Receive Update From Intelligence Agencies on Threats to Undersea Cables

November 18, 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today led a top-secret classified briefing to provide Senators with an intelligence update on Russian threats to undersea cables carrying global Internet communications. Wicker serves as Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee and Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.

“Undersea cables are critical to our economy, our communications, and our national security,” Wicker said. “The United States needs to take seriously the growing Russian threat to these cables. These published reports are just the latest example of Vladimir Putin’s true intentions – a return to the Cold War. Moving forward, Congress has an obligation to assist the Administration in protecting American interests from our adversaries. In the coming weeks, I will be working with my colleagues to help provide our military and intelligence agencies with the tools they need to fulfill that mission.”

Last month, Wicker requested that the Director of National Intelligence provide Congress with information on this issue in light of a recent New York Times article detailing the potential aim of Russian submarines and spy ships to sever the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations. Such an action would halt the instant communications upon which many Western governments, economies, and citizens depend.

The Senators were briefed by officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Department of Homeland Security, and Joint Operations Division for U.S. European Command.