Wikileaks recently disclosed a long list of pipelines, cables and assets that the US government considers “critical infrastructure” and “key resources”. The US Patriot Act defines “critical infrastructure” as “systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States the incapacitation or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters”. The Homeland Security Act meanwhile defines key resources as “publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government.”
The memorandum was relesed on February 2009 and was classified SECRET-NOFORN (not for foreign nationals) and originated from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The memo sought information from US embassies worldwide on critical infrastructure and key resources abroad that may be vulnerable to attacks. It also included a 2008 list of critical infrastructure and key resources to guide embassies in determining new information. The list is updated yearly as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Infrastructure Protection Plan
Critical infrastructure located in the Philippines includes the C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing in Batangas and the EAC undersea cable landing Cavite.
The EAC-C2C network is an “integrated state-of-the-art fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 kilometers between Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore. EAC-C2C has a design capacity of 20.48 Tbps” according to the website of its mother company Pacnet.
Other critical sites worldwide include hyrdoelectric plants, pipelines, mining and chemical factories and pharmaceutical companies producing vaccines.
The US government slammed the disclosure as “irresponsible” saying that in endanger the US and other countries hosting the facilities.
Steve Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy thinks there may be no greater danger now than before the list was released. “My own opinion is that there’s no shortage of potential targets that hostile actors might find interesting, and they don’t need a State Department list to assist them,” he told the blog Threat Level. ###