A simple glance at the main Olympic Park in East London confirms this will be the most security-conscious Games in history: More than 11 miles of razor-wire-topped electric fencing separates the site from its surroundings, every entrance is guarded by soldiers and the surrounding streets and shopping malls are patrolled by police carrying 9mm semi-automatic weapons – an unusual sight in Britain, where armed patrols are normally found only at airports.
On the busiest days, 12,500 police officers will be on duty while 12,200 soldiers will carry out the venue security searches assisted by at least 7,000 contracted civilian security workers. A further 5,500 troops will be involved in military operations outside the site.
Every vehicle entering the site is scanned and searched, inside and out, by military teams in ‘sterile’ zones away from key buildings. The maximum-security athletes’ village is ringed by even more metal fences. It’s enough to prompt some to compare the Olympic Park to a prison.
But it’s the less obvious measures that have brought the greatest controversy to the Games. At least 1,850 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras feed pictures back across London to the joint police and government control center (NOCC) at New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the city’s Metropolitan Police, according to a data access request by civil liberties campaign group, Big Brother Watch. (Olympic organizers refused to say on Tuesday how many cameras are in use.)
What kind of data is your cell phone company collecting? Malte Spitz wasn’t too worried when he asked his operator in Germany to share information stored about him. Multiple unanswered requests and a lawsuit later, Spitz received 35,830 lines of code — a detailed, nearly minute-by-minute account of half a year of his life.
Malte Spitz asked his cell phone carrier what it knew about him–and mapped what he found out.
More at Reddit.
“Security has effectively become the State religion; you don’t question it. And if you question it, then your loyalty is questioned.” . . . “Speaking truth of power is very dangerous in today’s world.” The journalist pointed out that investigative journalists are labeled as “terrorist helpers” for trying to reveal the truth, to which Drake said the government’s take is “you go after the messenger because the last thing you want to do is deal with the message.” The NSA, the government, “They object” to anyone who dares to “air dirty laundry” or show the skeletons in the closet. “Not only do they object to it, they decide to turn it into criminal activity.”
Drake added, “Most people don’t stand up to power because power wields a lot of power and power can do you in, or make life very difficult.”
“The NSA had entered into a secret agreement with the White House in which NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. On the front end, it was designed to deal with the threat, the terrorist threat, and that was probably understandable. But what it did is it actually, essentially, turned the United States into just a collection platform.”
“You also have the fear element. Fear in itself is control. And what people will do if they are fearful is to censor themselves.”
More at Networkworld.