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Olympics to Have Massive Surveillance Network

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the platonic-ideals dept.

Security 441

sharkdba writes "CNN has an article about Olympic digital security. This should be of interest to /. readers since it's a supposedly largest surveillance network ever. Thousands of cameras are combined with software (AI agents?) to look for anomalies. Also words are parsed (scan equivalent to OCR). I understand the idea that if you're in public expect no privacy, but even CNN says: 'Although the state's right to take all necessary measures that it deems necessary is recognized, there is fear that these measures will have a negative impact on basic human rights.'"

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Fristage Postage? (-1, Troll)

DominoTree (803219) | about 10 years ago | (#9936139)


Re:Fristage Postage? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936275)

When will people learn? Frist Postage just results in Frist Moddownage if there are only 2 chars in the body.

Interesting to see this in a betting situation (0, Redundant)

Qzukk (229616) | about 10 years ago | (#9936141)

I can just see the guys behind the cameras rushing to change their bets when the people favored to win complains to their coach about their sore legs or what not.

Re:Interesting to see this in a betting situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936366)

You have a bookie that lets you change your bet halfway through an event? That's awesome. What is his number? My bookie certainly doesn't extend me that privilege.

Wait, were you trying to be funny? Have you ever actually bet on sports?

Look and the headline... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936144)

Can you say OBVIOUS?

GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936145)

...raped Taco and impregnated Fent

I must be missing something (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936147)

What does this have to do with my rights online?

Some observations and questions (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 10 years ago | (#9936148)

So when is surveillance acceptable? What level of surveillance is acceptable? Under what conditions? Why is any attempt at surveillance for the clear purpose of the protection of peoples' lives and safety always variously called a violation human rights (!) or an invasion of privacy, while there would inevitably be shrill cries of "not enough was done" if something did happen? Why do the naysayers never have any better alternatives, but just negative comments? I may sound sarcastic, but these are serious questions. I realize there is a balance, and that the debate is valuable, but seriously: do people ever recognize the hypocrisy of criticizing every action taken, while simultaneously saying "not enough was done" when something *does* happen? (And yes, it is very often the very same group of people.)

Even today, the US was criticized for not responding adequately (or publicly, previous to this point) to the threat of terrorists potentially using tourist helicopters as weapons (or for delivery of a weapon), by the same group of people who attacked the recent public release of critical intelligence threat information as purely politically motivated. (Think about this for a second: if the local authorities in New York and DC were simply told secretly about the newly obtained threat information, as they *most certainly* should have been, the information would DEFINITELY have leaked to the press once it hit local authorities and local police agencies, who would then DEMAND that DHS reveal the full nature of the information - a lose/lose situation [and it doesn't matter that the information was "old" - it's well, well known that attacks are planned years in advance, as in the case of 9/11]. So instead, DHS reveals the information, and targets threat information as locally as possible, and they're crucified for releasing it exclusively for political reasons.)

Please, try to give real answers (not in the form of a Ben Franklin quotation).

(Also, "CNN" doesn't say that last quote; it was attributed to six "human rights groups" who wrote a letter of protest to the Greek government.)

Re:Some observations and questions (3, Insightful)

HeghmoH (13204) | about 10 years ago | (#9936179)

Why is any attempt at surveillance for the clear purpose of the protection of peoples' lives and safety always variously called a violation human rights (!) or an invasion of privacy, while there would inevitably be shrill cries of "not enough was done" if something did happen?

Newsflash: the people who complain that surveillance is an invasion of privacy are not the same people who will cry that "not enough was done" when something happens.

There are a lot of people in the world, and they all have different opinions. You can't make all of the people happy all of the time. Deal with it.

Re:Some observations and questions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936229)

Newsflash: the people who complain that surveillance is an invasion of privacy are not the same people who will cry that "not enough was done" when something happens.

There are a lot of people in the world, and they all have different opinions. You can't make all of the people happy all of the time. Deal with it.

Actually, they are oftentimes not the same person, but the same "group" of people. For example, groups of people who are rabidly anti-Bush contain these same two populations of people. While I'll agree it's possible to dislike Bush for different reasons, it doesn't seem to make sense to dislike Bush for reasons that are practically in binary opposition; e.g., not doing enough surveillance and monitoring essentially "allowing" 9/11 to happen, vs. "too much" surveillance and questionable tactics (cf. PATRIOT), intended to instill fear rather than have any impact on averting terror. It is logically incongruous for a single "group" of people to have such divergent views, with the goal of ridding the White House of Bush the supposed "solution" to each problem. (Not to mention that sometimes it is indeed the SAME SINGLE PERSON who holds these ideas.)

Re:Some observations and questions (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 years ago | (#9936263)

Sometimes they are the same people. If you're rabidly anti-Bush, you'll find a way to object to whatever he does. If there's an incident he didn't do enough. If there isn't, you can always complain about how high the security was. Same thing with Clinton and Bosnia. When he tried to avoid violence he was blasted for not doing anything; when he did he was called a war-monger. If you hate somebody enough, you can find reasons to object to anything they do or don't do.

Re:Some observations and questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936232)

They're not the same people? Oh good then they can shoulder the blame for being the silent majority when not enough is done to prevent terrorist attacks.

Re:Some observations and questions (4, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | about 10 years ago | (#9936258)

Surveillance might start to be acceptable when it has any chance of being beneficial. It's a placebo, and it's horribly intrusive. If you tried, it would take you five seconds to find a way to kill a bunch of people their despite the precautions.

Re:Some observations and questions (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 10 years ago | (#9936306)

I'll agree with the basic premise that there are still ways around any level of security, thus reducing the value of the surveillance for security purposes, and more greatly exposing it as an intrusion into one's privacy (not to mention a waste).

But would you agree that there are indeed some measures that can make an attack significantly more difficult, or perhaps even catch or avert others? I guess the question is: what's a reasonable threshold for such measures?

Also, I'm fine with the answer that it's a "placebo", and is thus unnecessarily intrusive for no substantial beneficial purpose; however, my only problem would be the cries that not enough was done if there were an attack. Not the cries themselves, mind you - but the fact that the some of the cries (no, not all, but a good number) would be from the same group of people who berated the surveillance in the first place.

Re:Some observations and questions (4, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | about 10 years ago | (#9936381)

Without a 4-inch-thick steel building with a security checkpoint that lets no one in who is wearing clothing, you'll never be safe. As long as you can bring in a can of hairspray or a laptop, any security measures are pointless. The only thing you can defend against are dirty and nuclear weapons, and you don't need cameras and transcriptions of everyone's phone calls to do it.

Stupid people will say lots of annoying things. When they tell you you didn't do enough, you ignore them. If you're in power and it happens, then that sucks, but somebody else gets your job because stupid people are allowed to vote, and there's nothing you can do about it without becoming Bush.

Re:Some observations and questions (1)

darco (514434) | about 10 years ago | (#9936320)

Try. ...

It's not as simple as you make it out to be.

Re:Some observations and questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936337)

A bunch of people may not be simple, but one is. Unless I get seriously unlucky, I or any other physically fit person with the right knowledge could easily kill one or two people with no preparation or equipment whatsoever.

I think this is fine, in this case. (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | about 10 years ago | (#9936365)

If there are specific public areas that are considered highly desireable targets, then it's only prudent to have correspondingly high security, even if it's intrusive (I'm speaking generally). Especially in a place like this, where nobody's putting a gun to your head and saying "go to the olympics" (especially since Uday Hussein is no longer in charge of the the Iraqi teams) - attending the Olympics is a purely optional pursuit, and people can make an informed choice as to whether or not to subject themselves to the additional scrutiny. Think of it as a privacy trade-off, just as you consider the financial trade-offs of attending a relatively expensive event such as this.

Life is full of such trade-offs, and as long as people are allowed to make informed choices - especially in activities such as this that are purely optional - I don't see what the big deal is. If you don't like it, stay home. HDTV probably gives you a better view anyway!

Re:Some observations and questions (5, Insightful)

dead sun (104217) | about 10 years ago | (#9936374)

What does surveillance give you? What is a huge network of cameras going to do? You want to be able to watch from 100 different angles as a crowd is killed? Great.

Because deterrence and and an idea of who did something after the fact is about all you get.

Picture this scenario: A group of 5 or so mad out of their mind people hides a few guns and a load of explosives in a private vehicle, drives into the city. Maybe you can catch them at a security checkpoint, but if you're lulled into thinking surveillance is going to catch them you're likely out of luck. This vehicle then rams an entrance gate, the lunatics set the car bomb timer, get out, and start shooting, herding people towards the car. They stop only when swarmed by the public (unlikely), mown down by security, or out of ammo, using the last bullet on themselves, glorious martyrs to a cause. The bomb hits a highly public area, scares the pants off people (hey, terror from terrorists, novel), and maybe gets a few people or some infrastructure while they're at it. If they're lucky (in the sense of their cause) they get the whole crowd to believe that of the maybe 50-100 people killed it certainly could be them next. They're on the news nonstop with all the security camera coverage a media outlet could ever want.

They were going to die at the culmination of their plans regardless. They have nothing to be deterred from by it being on camera. All the better for them. Physical security is lessened because everybody thinks the cameras are some silver bullet. All this can't be prevented and people are inspected to a closer eye from the government. Who wins, besides the camera makers?

There are no real answers Dave (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936405)

That's the problem as I see it.

Let's face a hard fact: it is impossible to defend against fanatics who are willing to die. We can make it more difficult to accomplish certain types of attacks in certain places, but we will always leave countless avenues wide open for spectacular attacks.

That's why I see a this type of security as counterproductive and wasteful. Public officials are just covering their butts. Disparage Franklin all you want, but we really could be giving up essential liberty for some temporary safety.

Here's a good article examining the problem. The author shares my pessimism:

We are going to have to live for this for the rest of our lives, and 'living with it' means accepting that an entire city will periodically wiped out. If losing a city every ten years or so is the worst that happens, I say we will be getting off easy. A bioweapon release is what is truly horrifying.

Fanatical muslims are not rational. They are not long term thinkers. They have not thought beyond 'crushing our skulls'. They have not thought about what the world would be like even if they succeeded in exterminating 99% of westeners.

Case in point: (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936418)

If they aren't going to have those buildings under the same conditions of hightened security until they have reliable intelligence that the threat is passed, then they've clearly used the intelligence development as a political attention getter. Why? If they have no reason to think that the attack is immenent, why spend the precious security resources on what is essentially a wild gamble when, a quiet increase in vigilence would not only be far cheaper, but much more effective over a much longer period of time, and hide the quality or inadaquacy of our intelligence gathering abilities from those who would harm us?

They had no information that the attack would happen "soon," but still somehow that was "the day" people should be extra vigilent? And nothing happened.

With information like that the government, through their communications people, should be as accurate and precise as possible about what the threat is, and all that they know about it. Anything short of this, is bullshit, and a waste of time. A hundred or so people are going to die in traffic accidents on any given day anyway, they might be better off with a reminder to drive safe.

Fact is Bush does give a crap about security. Of the billions how many have gone to increasing staffing of border control agents? Hell, just put the national guard out there on live fire training excersises where they just shoot the hell out of anything crossing illegally. That's cheap and politically popular across much of the country. Not so popular in Mexico, or Canada, but they don't do much voting in US elections. Instead Bush wants to give them all drivers licenses. Great. Now the terrorists don't even have to risk forging or bribing people to get needed identification. Way to go Captain Security.

i hate this (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936149)

living scared is no way to live

I think it is (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936152)

It certainly is!

Amazing cost (4, Interesting)

robogun (466062) | about 10 years ago | (#9936153)

1.5bn cost versus 3,000,000 tickets sold = $500 per spectator spent in security.

How are these Games supposed to make money?

Re:Amazing cost (-1, Troll)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 10 years ago | (#9936176)

sponsors paying to have people using the competitions product thrown the fuck out of the games.

Re:Amazing cost (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936177)

The same way the Atlanta Games did in 1996 -- massive advertising whore-out by the locals and abusive practices by the corrupt IOC.
Next question, please. :)

Re:Amazing cost (1)

josecanuc (91) | about 10 years ago | (#9936182)

"Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made. Spaceballs the T-shirt. Spaceballs the lunchbox. Spaceballs the coloring book. Spaceballs... the flame thrower! Kids love it."

Re:Amazing cost (2, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 10 years ago | (#9936186)

"How are these Games supposed to make money?"

Ads, broadcast rights, cheap crap to sell to jerks aka souvenirs. Also, keep in mind that the boost to the local economy is far more then 500$ per seat. These people need to eat etc.

Especially when... (3, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 10 years ago | (#9936191)

... half [] of the 5.3 million tickets are still unsold.

Makes you wonder if... (4, Interesting)

abulafia (7826) | about 10 years ago | (#9936211) would make more economic sense to not admit anyone, CGI the crowds in for broadcast, and pocket the 1.3B you didn't spend on security.

Re:Makes you wonder if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936317)

SHHHHHHHH! What are you trying to do, ruin us? Keep it quiet...

Hollywood CGI Effects Company

Re:Makes you wonder if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936358)

How else are they going to funnel money to the friends of the IOC?

Having it on the books as an expense is better than having it on the books as fraud.

Re:Especially when... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 years ago | (#9936299)

...but is it security concerns, and if so, which kind? Fear of being blown up, or fear of not having fun due to delays and the discomfort of being watched all the time?

CNN ran a story on the poor indicators for level of interest, and a lot of Greeks said they weren't comfortable with the police-state nature of the games. You can tell people to have "reasonable expectations" all you want, but Olympic attendance is optional so people can vote with their feet. (Obviously not so easy when Big Brother comes to your home town).

Re:Amazing cost (1)

rohan_leader (731431) | about 10 years ago | (#9936202)

Just in case anyone was wondering how the deficit might be made up, there is also significant revenue from sponsors, both government and corporate sponsors. Also, taxes, from spectator spending is also directed to fund these security measures.

Add that to the amount that is used out of personal taxes, and you can easily understand how such measures are carried out.

Re:Amazing cost (1)

guard952 (768434) | about 10 years ago | (#9936268)


That and... (1)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | about 10 years ago | (#9936311)

i'm sure the vendors (no, not just the hotdog guy on the corner, i mean the gucci's, nike's, mcdonald's etc. that show up too) have to pay a fee (or nine!). :-)

From my greek point of view (5, Interesting)

pangel83 (598985) | about 10 years ago | (#9936375)

Basically $1.5bn dollars was what the games were supposed to cost. That was sort of covered by the European Union, Sponsors, and Greece. The final cost was closer to a $3bn price, due to the mismanagement and the corruption of the previous government.

That extra $1.5bn is going straight to the taxpayers.. I expect that my country will not be able to get over this debt for the next 25 years.

Still, I expect that no foreigner can understand how much to these games mean to us. I am greatly looking forward to them!!!

PS: It also goes without saying that all the greek construction companies will be doomed on the post-olympics era since no major projects are going to take place in the forthcoming years...

The construction companies (1)

JurgenThor (675394) | about 10 years ago | (#9936420)

Should move to New Zealand, all the papers (both of them) are screaming about the lack of labour, and the lowlowlow unemployment rate (4%)

Re:Amazing cost (1)

mantera (685223) | about 10 years ago | (#9936400)

The games will make money from advertising and commercial sponsorship deals, but eventhough, it's already clear that the Greek taxpayers will suffer for a decade out of hosting the Olympics.

What is ominous though about this 1.5bn cost is how it'll serve as both a precedent and a de facto early-adopter funding for the emerging "security" technologies and therefore providing you with *security*, an act that's indistinguishable from monitoring your activities, will be a thing that's far more normal and affordable for a government to do.

After all, who would be opposed to "security"? surely someone *evil* who's up to an *evil* thing; The good, law-abiding citizens have nothing to hide! *sarcasm*

This is in quite the same way the CIA conducts "enhanced interrogation techniques", more commonly known around the world as *torture*, but hey, torture is only ugly word, gotta use more palatable words that the public will accept such as... ummm... homeland security?!

Re:Amazing cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936403)

1. TV rights.

2. Every visitor spends money in the country - hotel bills, food, entertainment... that's money straight into the economy from other countries.

Bookies (1)

usefool (798755) | about 10 years ago | (#9936155)

If words are parsed, other official might be interested in such surveillance, for instance, to keep track of bookies, or for (human) traffic management.

Agreed (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936157)

There is very little you can do to stop fanatics who are willing to die.

I was in Boston during the DNC. The security was an absolute joke. Anyone could have gotten on the public transport system or rented a large truck and blown up a low-value (but still prominent) target.

There is really nothing that can be done in a free society. They're gonna' get us.

Re:Agreed (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936286)

Public officials are in a lose-lose situation. Do nothing, and they get blamed for doing nothing. Do something, and they get blamed for doing something bad.

Myself, I'm cool with more Big Brother. Being watched is a pretty small price to pay for not getting killed by illiterate fanatics.

Re:Agreed (2, Interesting)

DrCash (800431) | about 10 years ago | (#9936321)

I seriously doubt that anything substantial will happen at the olympics. Terrorist organizations (and definitely Al Qaeda) know that security is going to be tight as hell during the olympics, and most likely won't even bother planning anything major. Al Qaeda's tendencies are to attack when we least likely expect, like some oddball, non-holiday, non-event tuesday in September,...

Unless these are webcast.. (2, Funny)

maskedbishounen (772174) | about 10 years ago | (#9936159)

..I'm not interested. I mean, they do have security cameras in the female facilities.. right?

Of course CNN is saying that... (1)

sud_crow (697708) | about 10 years ago | (#9936162)

...the games are not being played in the USA...

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936168)

How many people they will find picking their butts.

Too fast (3, Interesting)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | about 10 years ago | (#9936169)

It's probably a blessing in disguise that Athens took so long to finish preparations for the olympics. Since it is said Al Qaeda spends years preparing for an attack, I don't think anything big will happen at the olympics. That's also the kind of thing a bunch of cameras won't do shit against.

Re:Too fast (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | about 10 years ago | (#9936296)

I wasn't trying to be funny. Whoever finds this funny has some serious problems.

Re:Too fast (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936310)

I modded you up. It IS funny

Subscriber service available? (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 years ago | (#9936174)

Since we in the US will not be able to see it without paying some jackass company a bunch of money and still not be able to see it live, I wonder if we can tap into the surveilance network? :)

Re:Subscriber service available? (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 10 years ago | (#9936350)

If you were reading up on olympic progress, the greek folks are just behind assembling everything. From track paint to a roof over a new pool. What makes you think they took the liberty to install surveillance on time when everything else is delayed. No offense on greek folks please. This is just fact.

Re:Subscriber service available? (1)

Frogbert (589961) | about 10 years ago | (#9936383)

There are plenty [] of free [] satellites up there that you can point a dish at, some of these are bound to have some coverage, it may not be in english but commentry isn't exactly necessary.

I can't quite see whats wrong with this... (2, Insightful)

NeoThermic (732100) | about 10 years ago | (#9936181)

... If this can prevent security breaches, then I'm all for it. Its being used for the Olympics, not for the average street.
An organiser of the games can take whatever steps they feel necessary to ensure the safety of the crowd and the athletes of the games.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I would rather be followed about on camera and be safe, than to have no cameras, and end up killed by some form of security breach.


Re:I can't quite see whats wrong with this... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936293)

A camera watching won't stop you dying, it'll just ensure that CNN has a nice clip to show afterwards.


(OK I admit scenarios where a camera network saves your life are possible, but I don't think it's likely enough to justify the cost.)

Wow (5, Insightful)

Xerxes2695 (706503) | about 10 years ago | (#9936185)

I understand the need for security, but the problem with measures like this, is that once people become accustomed to seeing cameras everywhere, it's very easy to just leave them in place. Over time, more and more of our freedoms are sacrificed in the name of security, creating a society of fear, and a "Big Brother" situation in government. This is what the defined goal of terrorism is, to instill terror, to make us sleep with one eye open. Extremists will never win through conventional warfare, but through a series of calculated clandestine attacks, they can influence politics, make or break presidential elections, and sway popular opinion. We are playing right into their trap.

defined goal of terrorism? (2, Interesting)

interactive_civilian (205158) | about 10 years ago | (#9936390)

Xerxes2695 said
This is what the defined goal of terrorism is, to instill terror, to make us sleep with one eye open.
Really? That sounds like propaganda to me. Personally, I was under the impression that the goal of terrorism is something more along the lines of, if you want to take down a giant, sometimes the only way is to sling a stone at his knee.

Your Rights Online? (0, Redundant)

iamdrscience (541136) | about 10 years ago | (#9936188)

Why is posted in YRO. Perhaps Michael, like many slashdotters has forgotten that YRO stands for "Your Rights Online". This has nothing to do with anyone's rights online.

Re:Your Rights Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936251)

After 1000 similar posts, I find I'm much happier if I just see it as "(our) rights" being talked about "online".

Re:Your Rights Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936282)

Data communication within the area is also screened.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | about 10 years ago | (#9936295)

Well, it's either Your Rights Online, or Your Rights Offline. Is there any indication in the article that the security network is isolated from the Internet? No? Then it's online.

I don't care if there is only one computer that connects to both the Internet and the Olympic Security Network. That will still be too many.

Define massive surveillance network (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | about 10 years ago | (#9936190)

I would consider millions (billions?) of people, all over the world, watching the games on television and the Internet to be a pretty massive surveillance network.

Re:Define massive surveillance network (1)

cujo_1111 (627504) | about 10 years ago | (#9936324)

A few things count against the effectiveness of that surveillance:
- Annoying commentators that talk over everything
- 20 minutes out of every hour, the surveillance system will be down due to 'messages from our sponsors'
- The terrorists could have a conference at the synchronised swimming and not be spotted as no-one watches that event

The One (1)

Eberlin (570874) | about 10 years ago | (#9936196)

Agents looking for the anomaly? Sounds like a hack sci-fi social commentary movie. Someone cue Ellison, I think they need to contact The Oracle.

This just seems too intrusive. Has biometrics proven itself enough for people to spend fortunes implementing such things? Sure, the olympics is a high-profile event that probably requires some over-the-top deterrance, but this?

Unfortunately, I'm not alone in my inability to find the elusive balance between security and privacy.

Software agents? (1)

mr_jrt (676485) | about 10 years ago | (#9936199)

I'm surprised it's taken this many comments to mention agent smith. :) Maybe the games will be concluded by a badly choreographed CG fight in the rain between a tree stump and one of these `agents'....all done in the best possible taste of course.

"State's right"? (0, Troll)

0x0d0a (568518) | about 10 years ago | (#9936204)

'Although the state's right to take all necessary measures that it deems necessary is recognized, there is fear that these measures will have a negative impact on basic human rights.'"


Constitutional Amendment 28:

"The state shall have the right to take all necessary measures that it deems necessary."

Re:"State's right"? (2, Funny)

quantaman (517394) | about 10 years ago | (#9936395)

'Although the state's right to take all necessary measures that it deems necessary is recognized, there is fear that these measures will have a negative impact on basic human rights.'"


Constitutional Amendment 28:

"The state shall have the right to take all necessary measures that it deems necessary."

A very good point, the Greeks are merely using the powers granted to them by the US Constitution...

Re:"State's right"? (2, Interesting)

rpj1288 (698823) | about 10 years ago | (#9936398)

Ah, but this is in Greece. A classmate of mine was greece, and according to him, the police already abused their powers. I get the feeling that Greece's government already has a bit more power than the US.

Have Fun With It (-1, Troll)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | about 10 years ago | (#9936205)

Start a massive movement via the Internet to have people stand around muttering the words "bomb", "gun", "kill", "rape", "bin Laden", "Allah", and "terrorist". They'll be swamped!

Re:Have Fun With It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936269)

Ha ha ha! So funny!

Very funny when you keep the police working on false alarms and then Athens go BOOM!

Re:Have Fun With It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936294)

with people like you, any system will be doomed ot failiure. makes me wonder, do you also write viruses that target emergency telephone lines to have some 'fun with it'? you are indeed a sick moron in today's world.

Re:Have Fun With It (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936322)

Does it make you feel proud to support terrorists? Because that's what you'll be doing if you implement this dirty scheme of yours. And if you're from America or the UK then you're guilty of treason also. Keep that in mind you liberal idiot.

Security .. hah! (3, Funny)

failedlogic (627314) | about 10 years ago | (#9936210)


Considering the only branded foods available on ground will be, namely, McDonalds and Coke I don't think how this will fare well for spectators. My stomach feels insecure after eating that garbage! I feel sorry for everybody else. All the special forces, police, etc won't be able to help there. Maybe they need more doctors on hand or perhaps some dieticians?

it's our secret weapon (1)

PortWineBoy (587071) | about 10 years ago | (#9936289)

Hopefully the plan is to also force the athletes to eat the same crap. I bet those Kenyans won't be so fast after a super sized #1 meal!

Does anyone else find the idea of software scanning for anomalous behavior at what will most likely be a huge Greek party pretty funny? Ever been to a Greek party? (or at least seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding?)

It all looked pretty anomalous to me.

Human rights? (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | about 10 years ago | (#9936216)

Well I don't know about human rights, but I bet that the security guards who get to keep an eye on the women's gymnastic events from 100 different angles are pretty happy.

CNN too little too late (1, Troll)

bazmail (764941) | about 10 years ago | (#9936219)

from article "Although the state's right to take all necessary measures that it deems necessary is recognized, there is fear that these measures will have a negative impact on basic human rights.'" Where was CNN's sense of moral concern when the so called
Patriot act was being passed?

Re:CNN too little too late (1, Troll)

HebrewToYou (644998) | about 10 years ago | (#9936260)

Are you being carted off to jail for dissent?
Are you suffering indignity too great to measure?
Has TBA [The Bush Administration] censored you?

Obviously not.

So quit your damn bitching, you idiotic liberal.

Re:CNN too little too late (1)

evilad (87480) | about 10 years ago | (#9936333)

None of the above.

But I am afraid.

Face it... (2, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about 10 years ago | (#9936236)

This sort of thing will become pervasive. In the 50s it was the Red Scare and "commies". This time around it is "terrorists". "Homeland security" will be used as an excuse to futher the Orwellian state.

The only hope is to accept it and subvert it from the inside. The more digital this stuff gets, the easier it is to fuck with it.

Lets get to fucking.

Re:Face it... (1)

ThatWeasel (113982) | about 10 years ago | (#9936309)

Put a smile on your face while the cameras televise your life because you don't want Big Brother thinking that you're unhappy.

Re:Face it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936392)

Brother Computer says you aren't authorized for that information, citizen.

Brings to mind... (4, Insightful)

nlawalker (804108) | about 10 years ago | (#9936243)

"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could igve you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face... was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..." -- George Orwell, 1984
For those of you that haven't RTFA, I highly suggest. Brings to light some amazing technological feats. I don't know what to say about the level of surveillance though; that picture of the blimp in the sky is what made me think of 1984, and one wonders what the cityscape under the photographer's lens looks like.

Although the level of security will be so high as to probably induce paranoia, I believe people will still be afraid of the looming threat of terrorist attacks. We're talking about a city here, with all it's dynamics and movement, not to mention the extra jillion people that will be there, each with his or her own agenda and places to be. I can't help but think that it's not enough, but what is?

Re:Brings to mind... (1)

Frogbert (589961) | about 10 years ago | (#9936412)

That blimp is a stupid publicity stunt, the Greek government wants people to be able to look up and see a blimp and think... gee I'm safe.

No one bothered to point out that a blimp can get into a whole lot of shit if it simply gets windy.

Bigger concerns (1, Interesting)

iamdrscience (541136) | about 10 years ago | (#9936254)

After reading the article, I'm far less concerned about the cameras at the Olympics than I am about the other measures they've taken such as scanning phone communications (both mobile and land line) as well as monitoring e-mail, images and other electronic traffic. It seems to me that that kind of stuff is really what crosses the line. Ridiculous surveillance in public is one thing, but extreme surveillance of private communication is entirely another.

Re:Bigger concerns (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 years ago | (#9936323)

Want to mess with their heads? Get somebody that's going there to send out a massive spam with images in it. Watch them go crazy trying to monitor several million messages with images.

Seriously, the whole problem here is that the security team is being expected to make everything perfectly safe, prevent every imaginable threat and is being given as much money as they think they need to do whatever they want. No matter how much they do, they can always think of something else to watch for, something else to block, something else to throw money at. Clearly, the idea of perfect security, perfect safety, zero risk under any circumstances has gotten out of hand.

Re:Bigger concerns (1)

hadesan (664029) | about 10 years ago | (#9936340)

Negative... I disagree completely when it comes to this event.

The reason they scan the phone lines and land lines is so that people do not use them for remote detonation of devices. I have heard in some events that the military actually jams phone communications during susected terrorist or bomb threats (Spain train bombings come to mind.)

Draconian Olympics games (2, Insightful)

British (51765) | about 10 years ago | (#9936255)

With the excessive corporate sponsorship(okay that never stopped), the banning of non-sponsored products, the excessive surveillance, the silly Draconian laws enacted over what city takes place in, blah blah blah.... ...honestly, screw the Olympics.

I have no intentions of watching them, and I'm just waiting for the IOC secret police to make their first arrests to someone who erects a "" website.

people are voting with their feet (2, Insightful)

kylemonger (686302) | about 10 years ago | (#9936281)

Ticket sales to this Olympics are dismal. You don't HAVE to submit to the surveillance. You can stay home, like lots of other people.

this isn't news (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936283)

Hey libbies, I got a news flash for you: TERRORISTS WANT TO KILL AMERICANS. These surveilance networks are a good thing, would you rather see American athletes murdered by these terrorist cowards?

But all you libtards can do is whine and complain, if you idiots had your way then America would be finished. Fortunantly this country is led by a REAL AMERICAN named GEORGE W. BUSH who will win in November. That's right you commies, get ready for four more years of freedom. BUSH 2004.

terrorism works (4, Insightful)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | about 10 years ago | (#9936292)

fear works. all the terrorists have to do is manage to blow up one high-level target every couple of years and then just sit back as the West smothers itself in its own security blanket.

Remember September 5th, 1972... July 1996??? (3, Insightful)

hadesan (664029) | about 10 years ago | (#9936312)

Whatever security measures are deemed necessary by those running the Olympic games should be put in place. People are there to compete, not worry about being killed by some wacko asshole terrorists. Security goes a long way to preventing most terrorist activities or at least makes it that much more difficult.

As someone mentioned in the earlier posts, all it takes is someone willing to die for their "cause". As far as I am concerned that is all the more reason to hunt every last one of the bastards down; before they have a chance to organize anything remotely similar to September 11th anyplace else in the world.

Re:Remember September 5th, 1972... July 1996??? (1)

geomon (78680) | about 10 years ago | (#9936373)

As far as I am concerned that is all the more reason to hunt every last one of the bastards down...

You have just exhibited the difficulty in determine just who the bad guys are:

Sept 1972? Palestinians.
April 1995? Angry White Guy.
July 1996? Angry White Guy.
Sept 2001? Saudis.

Which specific bastards are you going to hunt down?

Do we just completely flush our civil liberties to make certain that we catch the bad guys?

Great idea: become just like our like our enemies!

Why are we fighting them again?

OT question about the Olympic Games (0, Offtopic)

Aardpig (622459) | about 10 years ago | (#9936335)

When did it become acceptable for countries to send professional teams to what is supposedly an amateur competition? By what mechanism does, for instance, the USA get to send NBA stars as its basketball team? How widespread has this practice become?

Re:OT question about the Olympic Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936415)

The IOC have just gotten realist.
There is no such thing as an amateur Olympian in the developed world anymore. The cold War also played a part, none of the iron curtain countries field "amateurs". All the wealthy western countries established expensive sports programs and subsidise athletes. Paid endorsements were the last nail in the coffin.

Small counties that field legitimate amateur teams are a quaint curiosity.

don't blame them (1)

haxorphreak (727748) | about 10 years ago | (#9936341)

I don't blame 'em for the tight security. There's bound to be a terrorist attack (actually saw it in a dream).

If you don't like don't attend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936362)

Although I see every reason in the world for them with fanatics using their primitive superstitions to murder as many as they can when they can.

When you're out in public..... (1)

simetra (155655) | about 10 years ago | (#9936364)

You are NOT guaranteed total anonymity everywhere all the time. Why is this so freakin hard to understand?

Really, come on. If you're out in public, and you commit a crime, you have every right to be caught and punished. If you're not commiting crimes, you have nothing to worry about. This Big Brother paranoia is sickening.

it's not like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9936368)

...the Greeks had civil rights to begin with....

no one going (1)

Leadmagnet (685892) | about 10 years ago | (#9936369)

Looks like there maybe a bigger problem. About half of the 6 million tickets have only been sold so far, only 200k last week. They are hoping to sell the rest by this Friday! has an article about it.

Get over it. (0, Flamebait)

sinnfeiner1916 (793749) | about 10 years ago | (#9936382)

I don't care for the following reasons: 1) it is in Greece 2) there are going to be tens of thousands of non-Greeks there, and foreigners should not expect to be treated like citizens 3) lest you forget, the PLO already target the Olympics in the 70s killing damned near the entire Israeli delegation.
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