Don’t take your laptop to the Russian Winter Olympics

Russia planning ‘near-total surveillance’ of visitors, athletes at Sochi Winter Olympics

Security measures at the Sochi winter Olympics will include such extensive electronic eavesdropping and surveillance that the US State Department has advised Americans headed to Russia to leave smart phones and laptops at home, an investigation has revealed.

Research by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, two Russian investigative journalists who specialise in covering the security services, reveals a picture of near-total surveillance, Soldatov said.

The Russian authorities have gone to great lengths to lay on the best communications support any Olympic event has seen at the February games, including 4G coverage and free WiFi throughout the city of Sochi.
But Soldatov and Borogan’s research indicates that the internet, telephone and other communications providers involved are obliged to build networks in such a way that the security services have full and unimpeded access.

“There is an element of meta-data gathering, but Russian security services are not so interested in meta-data. This is about content,” Soldatov told The Telegraph, citing an “information security concept” document laying out these measures. “The idea seems to be to make communications in Sochi totally transparent for the Russian authorities.”
The monitoring programme, which is run by the Federal Security Service, Russia’s internal security agency and the main successor to the KGB, is aided by software that helps identify key words and phrases of interest being used in electronic communications. “It is a very useful way of knowing who in a given region is talking about Navalny, for example,” said Soldatov, referring to a Russian opposition leader.

An FSB statement and other documents also revealed that the FSB and the Russian interior ministry have both acquired two kinds of drones for surveillance during the games, he added, as well as a vast network of closed circuit television in the city.

While the measures bear some resemblance to security at the Beijing Olympics, Soldatov said that taken together it is probably the most comprehensive surveillance in Olympic history. Drones had been considered for surveillance at the London Olympics, but were not used in the event.

Soldatov said the depth of surveillance was so comprehensive that the US State Department has advised its citizens “that it would be better to forget your laptop or smart phone in your home country, because it will be intercepted.”

The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.

2 Responses to “Don’t take your laptop to the Russian Winter Olympics”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I dont know anyone who wants to watch the olympics, Londoners were furious it came here last time, and foreign workers were imported in to build it while our own builders sat on the dole.
    The whole area became a mecca for romanian beggers afro caribbean muggers and assorted prostitutes, drug peddlers and rent boys.

  2. charlie drake says:

    bandar bush has made threats to putin along the chechen angle.
    the cia,mossad and the mi6 want pay back for syria.
    i say go for it putin crush any threats.

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