Russia Will Use 'Prism on Steroids' to Monitor Olympics
Will track all Internet and phone communication at Sochi
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2013 4:17 PM CDT
A cauldron with Olympic flame, on stage center, at Moscow's Red Square.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin promised the 2014 Olympics will celebrate the values of "openness and friendship" as he struggled to light the Olympic flame today, but documents obtained by the Guardian suggest that's all just hot air. Russian investigative journalists have found that the country's FSB security service has set up infrastructure to monitor all phone and Internet communication in the host city of Sochi, using Russia's surveillance system, Sorm. Sorm has been undergoing across-the-board updates since 2010, but there has been a particular focus on making it robust enough to cope with the extra Olympic traffic, the Guardian reports.

A professor at the University of Toronto who has researched the Sorm updates describes it as "Prism on steroids." By law, all phone and ISP providers must now install Sorm boxes, which the FSB can monitor without their knowledge. Russia's telco has also installed "deep packet inspection" technology on its mobile networks, allowing the FSB to filter traffic via keywords. It's probably no coincidence that the chief of security for the Games is one of the FSB's top counterintelligence chiefs, notes the Guardian, indicating the country is more interested in stopping spies than terrorists. The FSB will also monitor the event with 40,000 cops, 5,000 surveillance cameras, drones, and two sonar systems, the Guardian reports in a separate story.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Russia Will Use 'Prism on Steroids' to Monitor Olympics is...
9%
10%
4%
15%
55%
6%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 9 comments
woola
Feb 7, 2014 10:32 AM CST
That's what NSA do everyday. I like how the US government is warning american tourists they can have their communication devices hacked at Sochi..
HMD-SMD-ITY
Oct 7, 2013 5:27 PM CDT
The answer is BGAN, Inmarsat, and Iridium. Phone set direct to a satellite in space. No SOM there. By the way, on the second day of the Olympics, once the games get fully started, every person in attendance need to put "BOMB---KREMLIN" in a text message and hit "send."
OuttaHere
Oct 7, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
I guess PED surveillance is ok but athletes taking them, well, that's something else.