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Olympic Commitee Denies WiFi Police at Games

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments
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He's not here to harm your hotspot, honest!

The International Olympic Committee recently revealed that mobile hotspots are not allowed at 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 and a ton of other items, are not allowed inside. Then, on Friday morning, this picture was posted to Twitter. The poster claimed that the man in the photo was a WiFi hotspot hunter. Someone employed to patrol the arenas for unauthorized WiFi hotspots and shut them down.

 

As soon as we saw the photo we got in touch with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and asked them to verify what was going on in the picture. The Committee told us Ofcom, the UK's telecoms watchdog, was in charge of WiFi at the Olympic Games and redirected our question there. Ofcom told us that this was definitely LOCOG's arena. Since then, LOCOG has indeed gotten back to us about the picture. According to them, the guy in the photo isn't looking to kill your WiFi hotspot at all.

"This has nothing to do with Wi-Fi," LOCOG told us in an email. "The engineer pictured is monitoring radio frequencies to ensure that there is no interference to the airwaves during the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

We asked if personal WiFi hotspots could be considered a potential interference (there has already been issues with overcrowded networks interfering with event equipment and preventing commentators from receiving necessary data regarding the events). LOCOG said they'd get back to us on that one.

[Update] LOCOG has said that they have not put any controls in place to stop 3G services. Check their full statement below:

"LOCOG is providing the most dense coverage possible for 3G data across the Olympic Park. We have been working with all of the mobile operators to ensure a consistent experience on the publicly available networks, and have not put any controls in place to stop 3G services. With our Partners BT we have also provided Wifi services at an unprecedented level throughout our venues. To maintain consistency and integrity of our operational systems we do request that devices which can act as personal access points are switched off and that devices designed solely for this purpose are not brought into our venues."

Image Credit: @SadaoTurner

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Pyree , August 7, 2012 1:44 PM
    If there's something weird
    and it don't look good
    Who ya gonna call?
    GHOSTBUSTERS
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    classzero , August 7, 2012 1:29 PM
    I do not trust anything the LOCOG states.
  • 16 Hide
    Pyree , August 7, 2012 1:44 PM
    If there's something weird
    and it don't look good
    Who ya gonna call?
    GHOSTBUSTERS
  • 6 Hide
    rantoc , August 7, 2012 2:07 PM
    Place polices and cameras anywhere and deny them all - Signed the police state of England!
  • 5 Hide
    spookyman , August 7, 2012 2:39 PM
    And the people of England allow this stuff to go on. When will they rise and overthrow the totalitarian government of England?
  • 8 Hide
    velocityg4 , August 7, 2012 2:56 PM
    spookymanAnd the people of England allow this stuff to go on. When will they rise and overthrow the totalitarian government of England?


    This police state is happening in every "free" country that has the money. Perhaps you've not heard of congress and Obama approving having drones patrolling the US.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-06-19/drone-backlash/55682654/1
  • 6 Hide
    memadmax , August 7, 2012 3:05 PM
    DENY DENY DENY..

    And every, single youtube video that shows anything that goes on in the olympics automatically gets replaced with a message stating: Copyright blah blah blah olympic committee blah blah blah...
  • -4 Hide
    Kami3k , August 7, 2012 3:48 PM
    memadmaxDENY DENY DENY..And every, single youtube video that shows anything that goes on in the olympics automatically gets replaced with a message stating: Copyright blah blah blah olympic committee blah blah blah...


    And? I guess I the fact I've seen a minor video from a nobody on youtube be taken down because of copyright is part of the NWO's plans right?
  • 8 Hide
    straw_hat , August 7, 2012 4:14 PM
    The Olympics - the testing ground for the global police state that these NWO'ers want.
    Remember even Hilter used the Olympics to push his agenda - nothing has changed, yet for us who just enjoy sports get caught up in the underlying political agenda.
  • 2 Hide
    teh_chem , August 7, 2012 7:27 PM
    "So, what's that thing you've go there?"

    Oh, nothing, just checking for...wireless interference...

    "Is wifi considered a form of interference?"

    Um...no comment...

    "Why are you checking?"

    For the lulz.
  • -1 Hide
    confish21 , August 7, 2012 7:48 PM
    I want that job!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 7, 2012 8:30 PM
    You could actually have this job in the US. The FCC patrols major events and searches for cell phone jammers and the like. They normally use volunteers from the local broadcasting community. Every radio is inspected and tagged, wireless is coordinated. Nobody is looking for your 3G or 4G phone, but in this day and age, the people protecting the heads of states do not want to be on the same freqs as someone coordinating food deliveries. Nothing unusual in the photo, a simple Yagi antenna and an analyzer. This goes on every day and is a necessary part of an event of this scale.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , August 8, 2012 1:02 AM
    Their partner is BT? Oh my
  • 6 Hide
    mrmez , August 8, 2012 2:21 AM
    Sneaky bastards!

    "...[we] have not put any controls in place to stop 3G services."

    Well thats absolutely true. However, a wifi, or even bluetooth hotspot is not 3G, now is it.
    Way to go not answering the question at all.
  • 2 Hide
    erunion , August 8, 2012 5:45 AM
    A non-denial. So its true.
  • 0 Hide
    okibrian , August 8, 2012 5:51 AM
    mrmezSneaky bastards!"...[we] have not put any controls in place to stop 3G services."Well thats absolutely true. However, a wifi, or even bluetooth hotspot is not 3G, now is it.Way to go not answering the question at all.

    It's like you read my mind man.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , August 8, 2012 9:35 AM
    velocityg4This police state is happening in every "free" country that has the money. Perhaps you've not heard of congress and Obama approving having drones patrolling the US.http://www.usatoday.com/news/washi [...] 55682654/1


    can someone explain that to me... because i don't get it.

    the way i think of it is a flying device with instruments on it, that doesn't need to have police or anything in it manning it, can to most if not all the same things, is used to save money and keep people out of harms way.

    and if these things have guns on them, tell me how its any different than the cop being there to take the shot themselves?
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , August 8, 2012 5:22 PM
    alidancan someone explain that to me... because i don't get it.the way i think of it is a flying device with instruments on it, that doesn't need to have police or anything in it manning it, can to most if not all the same things, is used to save money and keep people out of harms way.and if these things have guns on them, tell me how its any different than the cop being there to take the shot themselves?

    Thats sort of a grey area. If the police dont have a search warrant to enter private property, why would it be legal to fly a drone over that same private property to inspect it without a warrant.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , August 8, 2012 8:12 PM
    blackened144Thats sort of a grey area. If the police dont have a search warrant to enter private property, why would it be legal to fly a drone over that same private property to inspect it without a warrant.


    well im guessing in that instance, its because they have an 8 foot high fence, and its cheaper to have that fly over it to check the back yard than a full helicopter.

    in the case you mention, that more police intuition and unable to get a warrant, not exactly harass the local with this because we can.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 8, 2012 9:10 PM
    Well, these days, the phone itself can be used as a hotspot. Try blocking that.
  • 0 Hide
    mikat , August 9, 2012 6:54 PM
    So it seems like after all that, they completely confirmed it in the last sentence of the article.