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Olympic Committee Bans Wi-Fi Hotspots

By - Source: Techcrunch | B 34 comments

Leave your 3G dongle at home.

London may have just gotten itself some pretty significant WiFi coverage, but it looks like it's not all sunshine and connectivity inside the Olympic venues. The International Olympic Committee has revealed that mobile hotspots are banned from this year's Olympics. While you are permitted to use a your smartphone or tablet inside the venues, personal or private access points, along with 3G hubs, are not allowed.

TechCrunch reports that the news follows hot on the heels of the announcement that Londonders (or indeed anyone else attending the games, won't be able to share photos or videos of their experiences on social networks. According to the site, any ticket holder with images, video, and sound recordings of the Games cannot use the content for anything other than private and domestic purposes. This extends to licensing, broadcasting, or publishing the content either via social networking sites, or the internet in general. Yikes.

Along with your own personal WiFi hotspot or 3G hub, you also won't be allowed to carry liquids, aerosols, or gels in quantities greater than 100ml; alcohol; tents, placards, spray paint; walkie-talkies, phone jammers or radio scanners; laser pointers or strobe lights; any item too large to be electronically screened; bikes; pets or other animals; any type of blade, knife or offensive weapons including blades and personal protection sprays; firearms; fireworks/explosives of any kind; controlled drugs; or items that resemble prohibited items such as gun replicas.

London 2012 also has a list of restricted items to go along with its restricted items. This includes any objects or clothing bearing political statements or "overt commercial identification intended for 'ambush marketing'" as well as large flags; over-sized hats; golf umbrellas; large photographic equipment measuring over 30cm; excessive amounts of food; balls, rackets, frisbees or other projectiles; noisemakers, such as air horns, whistles, klaxons and vuvuzelas; or flags of countries not participating in the Games (excluding the flags of nations under the umbrella of a participating country).

While it would likely be fairly easy to prevent people from bringing a lot of the above into the venues, we imagine it'll be a lot more difficult to keep people from setting up their own hotspots and even more difficult to prevent the posting of content to Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    ewood , July 26, 2012 3:11 PM
    the olympic committee needs to be put back in its place. sounds like a bunch of old people are making rules because they dont understand technology and are therefor scared of it...
  • 24 Hide
    hoofhearted , July 26, 2012 3:44 PM
    Why note make everyone have regulation haircuts, wear uniforms, and not be allowed to express any emotion whatsoever.
  • 21 Hide
    alexmx , July 26, 2012 3:09 PM
    unless the put jammers I don't see how they can avoid that
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    alexmx , July 26, 2012 3:09 PM
    unless the put jammers I don't see how they can avoid that
  • 26 Hide
    ewood , July 26, 2012 3:11 PM
    the olympic committee needs to be put back in its place. sounds like a bunch of old people are making rules because they dont understand technology and are therefor scared of it...
  • 17 Hide
    kossmalta , July 26, 2012 3:13 PM
    Is this the Olympic for people or corporations? If Brits didn't want to make something for the whole world and mostly themselves as hosts why give it to them?
    You know it was the Greeks that invented those things, right? It wasn't the bankers (greek or not) either...
    Perhaps they knew better how to make Olympics, but we still felt the need to 'optimize' them .... FTS!
  • 20 Hide
    shin0bi272 , July 26, 2012 3:20 PM
    IOC's new motto: "a little bit of fascism"
  • -6 Hide
    gamara , July 26, 2012 3:22 PM
    This is the IOC. The ones that chose London as the site. They have an obligation to the groups that paid large sums of money to get exclusivity to broadcast the events (NBC) and as there is so much to air, as well as a 6+ hr time difference, there will be a fair amount of delayed airing that they are trying to keep fresh. They could run a bunch of Cisco Aironet AP's with a WLC and have it all configured to jam rogue AP's.
  • 24 Hide
    hoofhearted , July 26, 2012 3:44 PM
    Why note make everyone have regulation haircuts, wear uniforms, and not be allowed to express any emotion whatsoever.
  • 16 Hide
    JustAnotherNoob , July 26, 2012 3:50 PM
    I believe "V" was set in the 2030s - plenty of time...
  • 14 Hide
    bigdragon , July 26, 2012 4:15 PM
    I thought the Olympic games were supposed to be open and inclusive. I thought it was a world showcase of athletes, countries, and communities. The list of banned items is so large here they might as well convert to a list of acceptable items. I'm really shocked by that social media blackout thing in particular. What's next? Are they going to ban Android phones or block people on non-sponsoring carriers from using their devices? They already do this with credit cards.

    I don't like what the Olympics has become.
  • 12 Hide
    tului , July 26, 2012 4:23 PM
    gamaraThis is the IOC. The ones that chose London as the site. They have an obligation to the groups that paid large sums of money to get exclusivity to broadcast the events (NBC) and as there is so much to air, as well as a 6+ hr time difference, there will be a fair amount of delayed airing that they are trying to keep fresh. They could run a bunch of Cisco Aironet AP's with a WLC and have it all configured to jam rogue AP's.

    The money ruins it in my opinion. Should be given to all networks free. *sigh*
  • 3 Hide
    womble , July 26, 2012 4:35 PM
    Well I generally always enjoy the games but all the megacorp sponsorship and stuff is getting to be a bit of a turn off. Lord knows how on earth we ended up winning the bid, there can't be many countries we haven't honked off these past few years.

    I suspect that there are a good portion of athletes and the general populace that would support the notion of having the games in their spiritual home of Greece. Slightly toned down and cutting some of the peripheral 'me too, me too' sports. Difficult to draw a line I know, but football and stuff?
  • 8 Hide
    teddymines , July 26, 2012 4:36 PM
    So take your pics and videos, and then update your social media when you get back to your hotel. You'd think the IOC would *want* more exposure, especially to the younger generations that have social media so tightly integrated in their being.
  • 16 Hide
    xaephod , July 26, 2012 5:02 PM
    The Olympic Committee are a bunch of morons. End of story.
  • 2 Hide
    freggo , July 26, 2012 5:08 PM
    So they do not want people to post anything on youtube or Facebook of what they photographed or taped ? Yeah, great idea. Why let the world see what is happening at your little party.

    Personally I don't really care as my interest in the 'games' is at or around the freezing point.
    Every 4 years a bunch of people running, jumping etc. than a year or two later the sad story of the run down venues which now need to be paid off by the local tax payers.
    Take Athens or Beijing for example.

    I rather watch a rerun of MASH :-)
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , July 26, 2012 5:11 PM
    digiexBut of course you can bring your oversize dick...


    Actually you can not!
    Read again, Any 'equipment' over 30cm is not allowed :-) :-)

  • 3 Hide
    teh_chem , July 26, 2012 5:19 PM
    Was this the policy in the recent-past Olympics, or is this new to this years' games?

    I thought that the Olympics were public games--and as such, shouldn't you be able to photograph things in public and share them openly? Oh, right, since we have networks bidding top-dollar, they don't want their precious cutthroat content-providing to be infringed upon. Doesn't this go AGAINST what the core of the Olympics values stood for?

    Besides, with the extensively-connected devices we have, few people really need to rely on a generated wifi hotspot to transmit data. Might as well, just prohibit ALL devices in general if you think you can impact the situation. Sounds like the committee is living in the previous decade.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 26, 2012 5:24 PM
    teddyminesSo take your pics and videos, and then update your social media when you get back to your hotel. You'd think the IOC would *want* more exposure, especially to the younger generations that have social media so tightly integrated in their being.

    They don't make money from exposure. They make money from advertisements, sponsors, tv viewership. They fear people watching the events on social media sites that haven't paid for that 'privilege'.

    The last Olympics (Vancouver) weren't nearly this restrictive. They only limited items based on security reasons. The UK keeps trying to become the most controlling country in the world and the IOC is happily going along while counting their money.
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 26, 2012 5:39 PM
    Good luck to the IOC in enforcing this, because I'm sure people will find a way around. IOC is well known as one of the most backward and corrupt organizations anyway.
  • 5 Hide
    Crush3d , July 26, 2012 5:47 PM
    Really.. someone takes a picture of their family at the Olympics and you can't put on Facebook? Give me a break.
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , July 26, 2012 6:38 PM
    Asus introduces the first PC monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate http://www.techatron.net/2012/07/asus-introduces-first-pc-monitor-with.html
  • 2 Hide
    teddymines , July 26, 2012 7:01 PM
    Maybe my perception has changed, but the whole spirit of the olympics has changed since 30+ years ago. I remember watching Bruce Jenner, Mary Lou Retton, Nadia...and then someone discovered that there is Mo Money To Be Made. Now there are millions of commercials, extended breaks, etc.

    A lot of people I know feel the same way about the olympics, and don't bother watching. While I have a lot of admiration for those who compete, the OIC and networks have really sullied the experience from the spectator's perspective.

    The IOC should embrace technology and show all events in real time through streaming services. Have a broadcaster for each language. Archive the events. Build an app so people can access via mobile device or plain old internet.
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