Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Your Rights Online

Sorm: Russia Intends To Monitor "All Communications" At Sochi Olympics 193

Posted by timothy
from the step-lively-comrade dept.
dryriver writes with this excerpt from The Guardian: "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. The journalists ... 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. 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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sorm: Russia Intends To Monitor "All Communications" At Sochi Olympics

Comments Filter:
  • Monitoring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EuclideanSilence (1968630) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:32PM (#45051345)

    That's just what oppressive governments do. They have to monitor everything to stay in power.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's just what oppressive governments do. They have to monitor everything to stay in power.

      Just like the US of A. Old foe, meet new tyrant. Old foe copies new tyrant. Old foe and new tyrant are now buddies.

      • Re:Monitoring (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:19PM (#45051671)
        >> That's just what oppressive governments do. They have to monitor everything to stay in power.

        > Just like the US of A.

        So if the USA is able to 'monitor everything to stay in power,' why is the government stalemated at the moment? Why does the President have no power? Why, unlike in Russia, are people currently able to publicly oppose their leader with zero consquences?

        Curious Canadian wants to know...
        • Re:Monitoring (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjames (1099) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:27PM (#45051757) Homepage

          That's just the theater. The real power never appears on television.

        • Re:Monitoring (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:16PM (#45052103)

          President of US has no absolute power over everything, the same is true for Putin. If you think Putin is some absolutist czar and can do whatever he wants, you are watching western propaganda too much. The difference is that right now the two faction that hold power in US are in fight, while in Russia they are mostly playing along. Putin and Obama are figureheads.

          Tell that joke about zero consequences to Snowden or to people from Occupy, to name just two examples. I would grant you that Russia government is more thinly-skinned, but even in Russia you can voice opposition to various degrees, and even in US if you try to mount too effective opposition, you will be whacked hard.

        • Re:Monitoring (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:50PM (#45052327)

          why is the government stalemated at the moment?

          What stalemate? The the one side of the party is bickering with the other one? C'mon, that's the sideshow for when there's nothing important to do. Or rather, when there is a lot of important stuff to be done, but nothing that they actually want to do because doing anything would be against their interest. Don't think of it as a stalemate, think of it as the half time show to keep the spectators entertained while there's nothing really going on that they want to do.

          Why does the President have no power?

          Erh... why should he have any power? You nuts? That muppet is elected by the plebs, why the fuck should he get any real power?

          Why, unlike in Russia, are people currently able to publicly oppose their leader with zero consquences?

          Because we learned that governments are stable as long as people talk, protest, march, complain, make jokes or smear crap on internet boards. It gives them a place to vent their anger at government while not really having any impact on it. Think of it as some way to vent some steam. It's actually the sensible thing to do, not only does it give the people the illusion that they can voice their concerns (well, that's not really an illusion, they can actually do that, the illusion is that anyone gives a shit), it's a way to vent. If you keep the lid on the pot too long and too tightly, the pot won't whistle, it will explode.

          So they let 'em whistle instead. It's maybe annoying, but it doesn't really cause any harm.

        • Re:Monitoring (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:17PM (#45052487)
          Because at just below the top of the slope the view is different?

          Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible. ~ Sinclair Lewis 1935

          If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. -- James Madison

          patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. - Samuel Johnson

          let me know if any of those seem to describe the current US political climate...

        • Two things:

          1) People are not able to effectively oppose the leaders with zero consequences. There is a big difference between publicly and effectively.
          2) Obama is not the leader. Neither is Boehner or Reid, etc.

        • Do you seriously believe there is a tangible difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in matters of any consequence? No matter which party is in power, in any country really, capitalists are the ones really in charge by simple virtue of their power to control so much of the economy and their unparalleled resources to drive legislation and influence the media which they own.

        • by wwphx (225607)
          You need to read today's XKCD.
        • The people fumbling for power are different factions of the same powerful class.

          USians still believe those people represent them...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      I wonder what Snowden has to say about this? Since The Moscow Times says that Spying Is a Sovereign Right [themoscowtimes.com], and a key spokesman for Snowden in Russia [businessinsider.com] is the head of public council for the Federal Security Service (FSB), I would guess not much. Just as well: NSA Is No Match for the FSB [themoscowtimes.com]

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        I can tell you exactly what Snowden will have to say about this. The NSA/CIA intends to do exactly the same thing if they can get away with it. Russia's number one priority catching the NSA/CIA at it and exposing them. Yes, NSA is no match for FSB but that is for doing it within the law (far more extensive message interception laws) on the flip side the FSB is no match for NSA which is comes to breaking their own laws. Which is worse, hmmm, that's fucking easy, breaking you own laws because their is absolu

    • I'm guessing the same thing happened at previous olympics, only the gov did not brag about it ?
    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      Pretty much every government needs to do it, which is the harsh reality that people don't want to accept. We have large swaths of people over here (U.S.) that are so fucked-up-crazy with the religious and ideological bullshit, that they are essentially domestic terrorists. We have a portion of the government holding the country hostage because they don't like a bill that was passed years ago, and are still throwing a hissy fit over it. And worse yet, we have a (very) vocal minority of people that support

      • We have large swaths of people over here (U.S.) that are so fucked-up-crazy with the religious and ideological bullshit, that they are essentially domestic terrorists.

        and just how are we supposed to defend ourselves when these people that you speak of ARE in the US government!

        I wish I was kidding. but our whackjobs are mostly the ones in power. the occasional foreign terrorist does not post much threat to the western way of life. but our own people in power are systematically destroying the freedom that

    • Re:Monitoring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:07PM (#45052431)

      At least Russia tells you they're monitoring you in advance. In US, you're monitored 24/7 all year round and you only find out about it through evil "traitors" like Snowden.

    • No, it's market capitalism. They'll sell the data to the NSA and other governments who are willing to pay for it. When Facebook does it, everyone calls it genius.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:35PM (#45051369)

    Nothing can beat the NSA in the surveillance event competition!

    • Nothing can beat the NSA in the surveillance event competition!

      They're merely afraid that someone will put up pictures of Putin in a tutu, or barebacking it with a horse, or any of the hundreds of other highly suggestive photos of the man who has decided gays are full of evil. There have been lots of protests and arrests in Russia over this lately, and demands both domestically and abroad that the Olympics be boycotted over this gross human rights violation.

      Nonetheless, the international community seems to be taking the view that entertainment exceeds human rights, and

    • Nothing can beat the NSA in the surveillance event competition!

      I don't know man, the Jamaicans are always tough [youtube.com] and the Russians are not to be dismissed [themoscowtimes.com]. Not sure how China's team is this year.... but I hear they are big [bbc.co.uk].

  • Records break you!

  • by tipo33 (2558663) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:39PM (#45051393)
    This news doesn't come as a shock to me. Actually, I halfway respect the fact that they admit it flat out.
  • by HeavenlyWhistler (716762) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:40PM (#45051409)
    but in Soviet Russia, Olympics watch YOU!
  • Pot, Kettle... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Diddlbiker (1022703) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:40PM (#45051411)
    It'll be hard for the US government to file a formal complaint without getting laughed at, as they've been doing the same (although not limited to Olympic Games) in their own country.
  • Just send lots of photos, png format of course, home attached to your emails. That way you can say anything you want by using undetectable steganography.
  • This is new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reemul (1554) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:55PM (#45051529)

    Face it, the IOC is perfectly OK with corruption, oppression, censorship, and spying, as long as committee members get their payoffs, a pleasant facade is maintained while cameras are rolling, and nobody but Jews get killed. Russia wishes they could have the all encompassing monitoring that Beijing had, but they just don't currently have the resources. Keeping the athletes in segregated housing simply makes it easier to ensure that every single area is bugged, and each and every person there that the participants can possibly come in contact with is engaged in intelligence collecting.

    • In what way is this related in any way to corruption? The IOC did not go forward in time, read this news, and then go back and approve Russia. I have no doubt that payoffs happen, and as demonstrated by the China games' focus on minimizing pollution to be just under the obviousness threshold, the facade has to be maintained even when the problem is well known. But how is this one of those "face it" times that demonstrates whatever point you failed to make?

      On the international stage, if we limit the selec

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

      Well to be fair -- the IoC did let the Nazis host an Olympics and by all accounts, it was a grand ol' time.
      How could letting Russia host an Olympics possibly be any worse?

      • Well to be fair -- the IoC did let the Nazis host an Olympics and by all accounts, it was a grand ol' time.

        Jesse Owens had a good time, in any case.

      • Part of the reasoning for letting Nazi Germany host the olympics was that every medal won by a black athlete would be a slap in the face to Hitler. I'm sure the IOC only cared about their bribes, but that doesn't necessarily invalidate the political reasoning used to sell it to the public.

        If any gay athletes go to Moscow, I hope they will wear some obvious gay pride symbols on the medal box to give Putin a slap in the face too.

  • ...gnupg? ...tor? ...ssl+pfs? ...ssh? ...ipsec? ...openvpn? ...voip? .....<insert your favorite encryption/privacy tool here>?

    Block everything? That would probably kick up more dust than the anti-gay legislation.

    • Simple. When your device downloads any data over the network it will be infected with malware and all the encryption in the world is useless if your machine is compromised. Later, when you return home, your machine makes you into a Russian Spy.

      I mean, that's how the NSA gets around Tor...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        . When your device downloads any data over the network it will be infected with malware and all the encryption in the world is useless

        The NSA attack depended on people being dumb enough to run the javascript in the attack payload. If you're dumb enough to do that, you deserve what you get. Furthermore, it used an exploit targeting the Windows version of Firefox.

        You seem somewhat confused. "Downloading data over the network" doesn't automatically infect your machine with malware unless your download app is buggy, or you go running scripts or executables that you downloaded. You have to be pretty damned ignorant to do that in a situatio

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:31PM (#45052209)

    NBC will use this to say why can't have it shown live even if it's not delaying the broadcast

  • we monitor you!

  • The notion of human rights seems quite foreign to Russia's leaders today. This follows the incredible state-sponsored persecution of LGBT people, which taps into (and caters to) the already fairly widespread homophobia in large parts of the population.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/opinion/russias-anti-gay-crackdown.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

  • In Russia, showing them how to get it done.

  • In Soviet Russia, State watches you!

    Err... what changed?

  • Sat phones
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      16 words: they don't have tightly directional antennae anymore, why would you think they'd be impervious to eavesdropping?

      • They can listen but they can't play man in the middle like they can with any land based system. Minimally they could watch for VPN type connections with any land communications and then block them forcing you to use weak or no encryption. But with a sat phone they can just know that you are using it and be sad.

        So assuming you are using a good encryption over the line (assuming the sat phone itself uses crappy encryption) then your connection should be good.
  • That sounds like a challenge to me!

    Somethingawful event: See who can send the internet monitors screaming from the room the fastest.
    Cryptographers event: See who can code the best covert channel that the monitors won't notice.

    Piracy event: See who can distribute footage of the events without the Olympics Committee noticing.

    Sports? We don't need no steenkin sports! (Except maybe for the piracy event.)

  • There is a difference between US and Russia surveillance: contrarily to the former, the later never claimed to be the land of freedom. Russians are slowly leaning to democracy, but it is not surprising the journey is long, if you considered they only had the Czar and the communist regime before.
  • ... when some foreign visitor sends a strongly encrypted message they the Russian authorities find difficult or impossible to decrypt. If this were a typical Russian citizen, this would probably merit a visit from some representative of the authorities who will persuade you that the encryption is a bad idea based on bad consequences if you don't. In the case of the international attendees, one assumes the Russians will not able to do this quite so casually. But they will probably be pretty obsessed with th

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

Working...