Now That The NSA Has Made It The Norm, Total Surveillance During The Sochi Olympic Games Is No Longer Noteworthy
from the welcome-to-the-(permanent)-olympics dept
In addition to being an opportunity to stretch copyright and trademark rules way beyond the law, over the years, the Olympics has also become an occasion when the feeble "because terrorism" excuse is deployed to justify all kinds of additional restrictions on personal freedoms. It will come as no surprise to learn that the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Vladimir Putin's pet project, will continue the tradition:
every phone call, every email, every social media message in Sochi will be accessible, traceable by Russia's Federal Security Service -- the FSB -- the organization in charge of securing the Olympics.
The CBC News report quoted above goes on:
it's the extent of all the surveillance the FSB is planning that has deepened much of the disquiet, at home and abroad, over the coming games.
If this piece had been written a year ago, those paragraphs could have been read unironically. But today, in the post-Snowden world, it is impossible not to replace "FSB" with "NSA" or "GCHQ". Since we now know that practically "every phone call, every email, every social media message" in the world -- not just in Sochi -- is accessible to the US authorities, it's as if we find ourselves in a global Olympics lockdown. But unlike the quadrennial Olympics, this particular circus shows no sign of moving on.
For Russia, surveillance measures may be something of a force of habit.