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'Wi-Fi Police' Stalk Olympic Games 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-may-only-reflect-light-of-permitted-frequencies dept.
schwit1 writes with news from London that Olympic venues are being patrolled by so-called "Wi-Fi police," who seek out and shut down unauthorized access points and hotspots. BT is the "official communications services provider" for the Games, so access points other than the ones they set up or approve have been disallowed. A picture tweeted from the Olympics shows a gentleman carrying a portable direction antenna that can localize sources of transmission and interference. "One possible aim of shutting down such WiFi access points is to cut down on interference with essential wireless communications being used by those refereeing, reporting on and working at the sporting events. ... The news of the WiFi crackdown has angered many of those following the Games online, who were already upset at Olympic authorities' attempts to limit the use of social networking tools at the Games at certain times. The London Olympics had been billed as the first 'social media Games,' but organizers have been accused of bungling the effort to seamlessly integrate popular technologies like Twitter and Facebook into the event."
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'Wi-Fi Police' Stalk Olympic Games

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  • BT Wifi Fees (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2012 @09:56AM (#40867455)

    BT offers paid hotspots, through BT WiFi (£5.99 for 90 minutes, £9.99 for 24 hours, £26.99 for five days), except for BT home customers and customers of mobile carriers which have sharing agreements with BT (O2 and Tesco Mobile). For anyone else, vouchers can be bought from kiosks at Olympic parks, BT told GigaOM.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday August 03, 2012 @09:57AM (#40867487)
    The IOC has a lot more shutdowns to its credit.

    Every single online stream for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, for instace, i snow a endless loop saying "During the London 2012 Olympics, we are unable to bring you regular ABC programming in your location. This is due to the Olympic Broadcast Agreement."

    Try any of the streams at http://www.abc.net.au/radio/listenlive.htm#directlinks [abc.net.au] All blocked if you're outside Australia.

    Assholes. Not just sport. EVERYTHING from Australia's main broadcaster is off the air for weeks because of the fucking Olympics.

  • Re:Short translation (Score:5, Informative)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday August 03, 2012 @10:16AM (#40867675)

    yup, so true. One of our more respected news shows interviewed Coe (the olympic head organiser) and asked awkward questions like "so if someone turns up wearing a Pepsi tshirt, will they be allowed entry?" eventually [politics.co.uk] they got an answer of "yes but only if its not obviously organised" - ie no crowdsourcing some non-coke advertising.

    Reminds me of the Bavaria Babes (where brewer Bavaria gave bright orange dresses to a few ladies to go to a football match that was officially sponsored by rival Heineken), and the ban on Heineken's response of a helmet. [www.rnw.nl]

    Frankly, its getting a bit silly when you have to ask if you can wear what you want to an event, and equally silly when the marketing people hijack that with a publicity stunt. But the most stupid is when a group of select sponsors get to take over the entire event in the first place.

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Friday August 03, 2012 @10:20AM (#40867729) Journal

    So, uhh, I'm a bit confused how anyone would provision outside internet access to their WiFi hotspot in the olympic park? The only answer which comes to mind is phones with built-in WiFi hotspots - but in Britain, if you're getting your phone data connection from BT (which you've paid for), why would they be able to stop you from using it?

    It is, after all, a BT wifi hotspot which they have been paid for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2012 @10:43AM (#40867997)

    19. Spectator Policy

    * 19.1
    * Personal property
    * 19.1.1
    * There will be no storage available at the Venues, save for limited space afforded to children’s buggies, prams and wheelchairs.
    * 19.1.2
    * LOCOG has the exclusive right to determine what objects may be brought into a Venue by a Ticket Holder. LOCOG will not store confiscated and/or unauthorised material at a Venue and a Ticket Holder will have no right for the item to be returned.
    * 19.2
    * Prohibited and restricted items
    * 19.2.1
    * Ticket Holders are prohibited from transporting into a Venue any firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon or object, explosive, chemicals or incendiary device. Any Ticket Holder who is found to be in possession of any of the above items will have the items seized, shall be removed from a Venue and may be subject to arrest and/or prosecution by the relevant authorities.
    * 19.2.2
    * No objects that may cause damage to Persons and/or property, or cause disturbance to the regular and orderly execution of a Session (as determined by LOCOG in its sole discretion), may be brought into a Venue.
    * 19.2.3
    * The following is a non-exhaustive list of restricted items which may not be taken into a Venue (LOCOG reserves the right to amend this list, generally, or in respect of any Venue or Session): food (save for baby food), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (save for baby milk and other valid medical reasons), liquids in containers of greater than 100ml in size, needles (save as required for valid medical reasons), animals (save for assistance or guide dogs), weapons (including knives), illegal drugs, other illegal substances, fireworks, firecrackers, poles, flagpoles, sticks, large photographic equipment (including tripods), bats, large umbrellas and other blunt instruments, motorcycles, bicycles, roller-skates, skateboards, or other types of skates, electronic transmitting equipment, flags of countries not participating in the Games, large flags or banners, horns, whistles, drums, rattles, musical instruments, lasers or any other devices that in the opinion of LOCOG may disturb a Session, objects bearing trademarks or other kinds of promotional signs or messages (such as hats, T-shirts, bags, etc) which LOCOG believes are for promotional purposes, counterfeit products, balls, rackets, frisbees or similar objects, large quantities of coins, lighters, advertising or promotional material of any kind, printed matter bearing religious, political or offensive content or content contrary to public order and/or morality, bottles or containers made of glass or other material, flasks, thermoses, refrigerators, large objects such as suitcases or bags, and in general any material that LOCOG may deem dangerous or that may cause damage or disruption to a Session.
    * 19.3
    * Forbidden behaviour
    * 19.3.1
    * Any behaviour by a Ticket Holder that, in LOCOG’s view, creates a dangerous situation, puts at risk an individual’s personal security, is against public order, interferes in any way with the orderly execution of a Session or disrupts the enjoyment of a Session is forbidden and may result in a refusal of admission to or removal from the Venue without refund.
    * 19.3.2
    * The following is an illustrative list of prohibited and restricted behaviour within any Venue: fighting, public drunkenness, smoking, gambling, unauthorised money collection, any activity related to marketing or advertising (including, for the av

  • by Neil_Brown (1568845) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:05AM (#40868261) Homepage

    I have serious doupt about the legallity of this action in light of RF frequency allocation and usage rules. If it is an open and unregulated band for wifi, BT has not right what so ever to ask someone to turn of an access point.

    Ofcom was certainly interested in this. In it's 2009 publication "The Spectrum Plan for the London 2012 Games," Ofcom said:

    4.91 Certain equipment may be exempted in the UK from the requirement to be licensed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 because its use is not likely to cause harmful interference. Experience from past Games has shown, however, that the unusual concentration of such equipment in particular venues can create the potential for localised harmful interference.

    4.92 We are exploring with LOCOG how such use can best be controlled and/or coordinated to avoid any disruption to the smooth running of the London 2012 Games. Practical measures (e.g. preventing certain types of equipment from being brought into London 2012 Games venues or actively coordinating use between users) have proved successful at past Games.

    4.93 The Met Office raised concerns in its response about the need to protect the use of its radars and the importance of the information provided by these radars to the London 2012 Games. Ofcom will carry out a detailed study of the protection of meteorological radars from WLANs and will consider how WLAN use can best be controlled and/or coordinated to avoid any disruption to the meteorological radars.

    It also appears, from the same document that the Vancouver Games took a slightly different approach:

    4.95 During the Vancouver Games, VANOC will be providing both wired and, in certain high-traffic locations such as the Olympic and Paralympic Villages, the MPC and the Media Centre, WLAN Internet services. Within Olympic Net Zone wireless hotspots, use of personal WLAN routers will not be permitted. Use of WLAN routers will be permitted in designated locations outside these Zones. Anyone bringing in their own WLAN services will have to use the 5000 MHz band and the 802.11a networking standard. They will not be able to use the 2400 MHz band (802.11 b/g/n) or selected channels at 5000 MHz (802.11 a/n). VANOC will stipulate the SIDH and channel assignment.

    The Wireless Telegraphy (Control of Interference from Apparatus) (The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Regulations 2012 [legislation.gov.uk] were certainly part of the legal basis for tackling interference, but these regulations are limited to interference with wireless communications for public safety purposes:

    Regulation 5(1):

    The requirement is that between 26th July 2012 and 10th September 2012 apparatus must when in use operate at a sufficiently low intensity of electromagnetic energy such that it does not cause undue interference with wireless telegraphy used for public safety purposes within a protection area.

    I've yet to find the basis on which Wi-Fi interference is verboten, but I would have thought there's a document out there somewhere...

  • Then the laws of the UK or England must differ from the laws of the United States with respect to whether or not federal unlicensed spectrum regulations trump state trespassing laws. See previous Slashdot stores about FCC rulings: 1 [slashdot.org] 2 [slashdot.org]
  • Re:Short translation (Score:4, Informative)

    by synapse7 (1075571) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:34AM (#40868579)
    Winners get paid, then get taxed. [reuters.com]
  • Re:Fox hunt? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:36AM (#40868617)

    As nicely as you've trolled, no you are not going to get me to Google that...

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