Land of Liberty

According to a report from the Agence France Presse (AFP), Russian authorities plan to monitor virtually all communication at the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi and, as you may have guessed, none of it will be overseen by a court.

Dubbed SORM, the system will give Russian security services free access to all phone and Internet communications at the Olympic Games in February without the providers’ knowledge, according to research by Soldatov and his colleague Irina Borogan.

Telecom providers are required to pay for the SORM equipment and its installation, but law enforcement agencies will be able to wiretap without having to show providers court orders allowing the eavesdropping, the analysts said. [...]

“There is a promise that visitors will have access to the fastest WiFi networks in Olympic history, for free,” the researchers said on their website agentura.ru.

But at the same time, the analysts said, national telecom provider Rostelecom is installing DPI (deep packet inspection) systems on all its mobile networks, technology which will allow the FSB not only to monitor all traffic but also to filter it.

I would expect any nation hosting the Olympics to take steps to provide security, including monitoring communications, but what makes this remarkable is that the country setting up this system is the new home of a man who made a name for himself by blasting supposed invasions of privacy and internet snooping.

Russia is even going to deploy drones(!) to monitor the Olympics.

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  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    Land of the free and the home of Snowden.
    The irony is thick on this one, so I for one can’t wait to hear Glenn Greendrone’s latest derp.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Ten bucks says he never mentions it.

  • Richard_thunderbay

    Remember, it’s only bad if Greenwald targets like the US and the UK do it. Certainly, he’ll never write a column about it.

  • Treading_Water

    At least the Russians under Putin are free from tyrannical Obama and his secret NSA collecting a small subset of the data that marketing organizations and private corporations are already compiling.

  • Nick2000

    The question is whether we would even be talking about this if Snowden had not come out….
    Of course not.

    Agree with him or not, the debate needed to happen and would never have started.

    • JMAshby

      I always chuckle when someone says this because nothing has really changed.

      I mean unless you count harming national security and tightening control within the ranks of the intelligence community, which I think is the exact opposite of what he was going for.

      “The debate.” What a joke.

      • Mike Huben

        For years I always wondered why liberals didn’t adopt the tactics of the right wing to swing susceptible conservatives to liberal positions.

        Now that I see what it is like, I understand why I hadn’t seen it. It is so repulsive that most liberals wouldn’t do it. You sound just like Rush Limbaugh, Ashby. The same pompous, sneering attitude and made-up “points” that ignore all evidence. The same demonization of enemies.

    • Badgerite

      What debate? Mostly it is Greenwald and the Guardian attacking the US and the UK intelligence operations worldwide and the protections that they do have in place for their own citizenry at home while giving some of the world’s worst and most repressive governments in areas of free speech and press freedom a complete pass. Russia and China both have particularly bad histories and current practices when it comes to these issues. And if there is one country on the planet that looks a lot like Orwell’s depiction in his novel ‘1984’ it would have to be North Korea (good lord, they actually have a ‘Dear Leader’) which is the client state of which country now? Oh yeah. China.
      All I’ve learned from this ‘debate’ is that in terms of Constitutional protections afforded American citizens, we did not need to have it. And that protections for American citizens privacy as against their own governments snooping are probably the best in the world. Once the programs were brought into compliance with FISA Court oversight, there were going to be checks and balances in place and these were going to start to have an impact on NSA operations. And they have. And that was done in 2008 and the tightening in oversight has increased from there on out. And one could have found this out without ever consulting anything written by Greenwald.
      As to the international debate, the idea that anything Greenwald or Snowden have ‘revealed’ is going to stop or even impede the practice of international spying is ludicrous. All they accomplished, as far as I can see ( aside from making themselves ‘saviors of the world’ in the eyes of a certain crowd and themselves) is to harm US and UK interests.
      As to the awareness of the citizenry that the internet is not the most private of communication mediums, seriously, did you not know that before this?

      This particular story, though, is beyond ironic and points up rather well what I mean by my comment.

  • muselet
    • Richard_thunderbay

      I’ll bet Greenwald believes Obama engineered the government shutdown to distract us from his columns.