Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia - Surveillance information

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#1 Mon, Oct 7, 2013 - 1:30am
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia - Surveillance information

Key paragraphs for me:

Russia to monitor 'all communications' at Winter Olympics in Sochi

Exclusive: Investigation uncovers FSB surveillance system – branded 'Prism on steroids' – to listen to all athletes and visitors

  • in Moscow
  • The Guardian, Sunday 6 October 2013 15.31 BST
  • 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.

    But government procurement documents and tenders from Russian communication companies indicate that newly installed telephone and internet spying capabilities will give the FSB free rein 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.

    The journalists, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, who are experts on the Russian security services, collated dozens of open source technical documents published on the Zakupki government procurement agency website, as well as public records of government oversight agencies. They found that 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, using Sorm, Russia's system for intercepting phone and internet communications.


    The Sorm system is being modernised across Russia, but particular attention has been paid to Sochi given the large number of foreign visitors expected next year. Technical specifications set out by the Russian state telecoms agency also show that a controversial technology known as deep packet inspection, which allows intelligence agencies to filter users by particular keywords, is being installed across Russia's networks, and is required to be compatible with the Sorm system.


    Ron Deibert, a professor at the University of Toronto and director of Citizen Lab, which co-operated with the Sochi research, describes the Sorm amendments as "Prism on steroids", referring to the programme used by the NSA in the US and revealed to the Guardian by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. "The scope and scale of Russian surveillance are similar to the disclosures about the US programme but there are subtle differences to the regulations," says Deibert. "We know from Snowden's disclosures that many of the checks were weak or sidestepped in the US, but in the Russian system permanent access for Sorm is a requirement of building the infrastructure."


    Soldatov and Borogan have discovered that 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, meaning every phone call or internet communication can be logged. Although the FSB technically requires a warrant to intercept a communication, it is not obliged to show it to anyone.

    Edited by: Strongsidejedi on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:01am
    Tue, Oct 8, 2013 - 9:11am
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Joined: Jun 14, 2011

    Buried inside a Telegraphpost

    Buried inside a Telegraphpost about secret Russian and Saudi talks was a strange passive-aggressive alleged quote from the Saudi head of intelligence about terrorist attacks at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

    The talks — divulged in leaked documents — were allegedly about an oil deal that would stabilize Russia's markets, if Saudi Arabia curtailed the amount of oil it put on the global market. In exchange for their global price fixing — the Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes that Russia "relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget" — Russia would back off its support for Assad.

    But there was a threat allegedly hidden in there right along with the fruit.

    From The Telegraph [emphasis theirs]:

    [Soudi intel chief] Prince Bandar [bin Sultan] pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.

    Along with Saudi officials, the US allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise. Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves the guy.

    for more ........

    "I found a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works." - Alan Greenspan, October 2008 WTF ! Now you tell us !!!