Not only has the Russian government made its Winter Olympics a no go zone for gay people, Putin’s people are about to mount a spy fest which will make the NSA look like a bunch of liberal namby-pambies.
According to the Guardian, the Black Sea resort of Sochi has apparently been wired so that Russian spy agency the FSB can log all visitor communications.
Any athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will have to deal with some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games, it is claimed.
A dossier compiled by a team of Russian journalists looking into preparations for the 2014 Games shows tenders from Russian communication companies describing a telephone and internet spying capability not seen before.
It will give the FSB a pass to intercept any telephony or data traffic and even track the use of sensitive words or phrases mentioned in emails, webchats and on social media.
According to the journalists, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, major amendments have been made to telephone and wi-fi networks in the Black Sea resort to ensure extensive and all-permeating monitoring and filtering of all traffic.
The spies are using Sorm, which is Russia’s system for intercepting phone and internet communications. This technology is being modernised across Russia, but particular attention has been paid to Sochi given the large number of foreign visitors expected next year.
It will allow deep packet inspection to filter users by particular keywords.
The Russian state has already threatened gay atheletes and homosexual spectators with arrest if they show up for the games and protest, so we guess we now know how they will find out.
Soldatov and Borogan claim the FSB has been working since 2010 to upgrade the Sorm system to ensure it can cope with the extra traffic during the Games.
All telephone and ISP providers have to install Sorm boxes in their technology by law, and once installed, the FSB can access data without the provider ever knowing.
What might spook readers in the UK is that during a rare FSB press conference this week, an official, Alexei Lavrishchev said that the London Olympics featured far more intrusive measures.
The British installed CCTV cameras in the loos and even the Russians would not think of that, Lavrishchev said.