U.S. State Department warns not to take a laptop or smartphone if visiting Russia’s Winter Olympics due to high level of surveillance on tourists

WiFi and mobile coverage will be the best of any Games - but it comes at a price, according to research Russian journalists reveal that the infrastructure has been designed so that security services can access all communications 'Your messages will be intercepted,' warns U.S Government
WiFi and mobile coverage will be the best of any Games – but it comes at a price, according to research
Russian journalists reveal that the infrastructure has been designed so that security services can access all communications
‘Your messages will be intercepted,’ warns U.S Government

 

The 2014 Winter Olympics is taking place in the Russian city of Sochi – and an investigation suggests that if eavesdropping was one of the events, the Russian security services would be clear favourites for a gold medal.

WiFi and mobile phone coverage at the Games will be the best of any Olympic event, with full broadband access and a 4G network.

But tourists will be spied on to such an extent that the U.S Government has advised them to leave their laptops and mobile phones at home, according to research by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan.

 

They claim that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) ordered the firms that built the electronic infrastructure at the event to design it in a way that gives them full access to it.

Soldatov, after studying an ‘information security concept’ document for the event, told The Telegraph: ‘There is an element of meta-data gathering, but Russian security services are not so interested in meta-data. This is about content.

‘The idea seems to be to make communications in Sochi totally transparent for the Russian authorities.’

It’s thought that the primary reason for this is to help safeguard against terrorist attacks, as Sochi borders the North Caucasus – a hotbed of Islamic extremism. Separatist fighters from that region have been battling Russian forces for years.

The authorities will be monitoring cyber space for words and phrases that could suggest an imminent attack.

 

However, the level of surveillance will be such that the US State Department, according to The Telegraph, was moved to tell Americans planning on visiting the Games: ‘It would be better to forget your laptop or smart phone in your home country, because it will be intercepted.’

Meanwhile, the flame that will burn at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games arrived in Moscow on Sunday, starting an epic torch relay around the huge country and bringing Vladimir Putin’s campaign to stage Russia’s first post-Soviet Olympics a step closer to completion.

President Putin was to signal the start of the torch relay at a ceremony in Red Square 123 days before Russia’s first-ever Winter Olympics begin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Feb. 7.

Protected by a small lantern, the flame was flown in from Greece after being lit at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics and handed over to Russia on Saturday at the marble Athens stadium that hosted the first modern Games in 1896.

Gingerly carrying the lantern, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak stepped off the plane and onto a red carpet as an honour guard of rifle-toting soldiers in wooly Astrakhan collars stood by, chins jutting high.

‘Today can truly be called a historic day for us,’ Kozak said. ‘We – all Russians – have a right to be proud.

The longest torch relay before a Winter Olympics will show off Russia’s variety as well as its sheer scale of taking the flame though all 83 regions in a more than 65,000 km (40,400 mile) journey around the world’s biggest country.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2448392/U-S-State-Department-warns-laptop-smartphone-visiting-Russias-Winter-Olympics-high-level-surveillance-tourists.html#ixzz2h26Tj4Hw
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About Gregory D Evans

Gregory Evans is one of the worlds greatest security consultants. Go to http://GregoryDEvans.com for more details.
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