The Sochi Olympics: what you need to know
No vuvuzelas, baby
No vuvuzelas on the curling court (apologies to Midnight Star)
High up on the list of prohibited items are noisemakers that could distract other spectators from enjoying the Olympic experience. Vuvuzelas are particularly mentioned. Though I think an off-key plastic trumpet blast could only improve watching grown men and women sweep ice, leave your vuvuzela at home. I bet your significant other will find a very good place for it in your absence.
Beware the SORM
Though the SORM sounds like the enemy of guys in cut-rate chain mail, take them seriously. The System of Operative Investigative Measures is the Russian version of the NSA. This group ‘monitors’ all electronic communication in Russia: SMS, email, texts, faxes, anything fancier than a couple of tin cans on a string.
If you try to bring an encrypted device into Russia without pre-approved forms in triplicate, you’ll have to deal directly with these guys.
You’ll deal with the SORM indirectly if you use your computer or phone for anything other than a very expensive alarm clock.
I swear I didn’t write that!
Rumours abound that Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is part of Sochi security. This means that the Federal Security Service can read, alter and reroute your electronic communications.
If you’re a journalist, judge or athlete, expect to have all of your internet traffic monitored and stored for three years after the event.
Watch what you snap, write, say and send. Basic Sochi travel safety, baby.
Smile for the camera
Another part of what Sochi 2014’s website calls its ‘invisible and unnoticeable’ security plan is the deployment of drones with facial recognition and tracking capabilities. Let the snowboarders fly the highest at the Olympics.
Last-minute medical insurance for Sochi
Olympic events are supposed to be safe, right? Sure they are, with the exception of Atlanta and Munich. Russian officials may be able to keep the area safe, but how well-equipped are the untried medical facilities?
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