The Russian government has set in place a monitoring system that will enable their security services to gather up all communications during the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The program is being described as ‘PRISM on steroids’, comparing it to one of the monitoring programs of the NSA.
Athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will face some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games, documents shared with the Guardian show.
Russia’s powerful FSB security service plans to ensure that no communication by competitors or spectators goes unmonitored during the event, according to a dossier compiled by a team of Russian investigative journalists looking into preparations for the 2014 Games.
Tellingly, the FSB has appointed one of its top counterintelligence chiefs, Oleg Syromolotov, to be in charge at Sochi: security will thus be overseen by someone who has spent his career chasing foreign spies rather than terrorists.
In the end, the goal is overarching, but simple, says Soldatov: “Russian authorities want to make sure that every connection and every move made online in Sochi during the Olympics will be absolutely transparent to the secret services of the country.”
I am surprised that the Russians did not hire Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, as a consultant on this effort.
I am waiting for the US and UK governments to denounce this massive invasion of people’s privacy as an indicator of how that country does not share its democratic values for the rights of the individual.