News that Russian officials are spying on athletes in the shower has thrown the security operation at Sochi 2014 into an unexpected frenzy.
But if the setup is a bit more Orwellian than some privacy-loving athletes would like, it also provides a hefty dose of Ian Fleming: This technology is the stuff of spy novels.
An Israeli company called NICE Systems has deployed a network of platforms that provide the Sochi Olympic Games with what they need most: a real-time “integration system platform” that “takes points of data – video images, radio communications, phone calls, access control alarms – and blends it all into a single operating system that interacts with all of that,” according to Bill Besse, a security specialist and Andrews International vice president, when interviewed by risk-management publication CSO Online.
NICE Systems is not usually mentioned in conjunction with bathroom spying, but in Sochi, as of 2012, one of the elements it installed was Net 2.5 IP Video Surveillance, which includes over 1,400 separate channels. What are those channels looking at, exactly? In its press release, contractors for the company said “the unique surveillance system … will provide 24-hour monitoring of the city’s main roads, buildings, and popular resort locations.”
No word about showers, but it’s a little more sophisticated than your average security camera. The company specifies that “Sochi law enforcement authorities will be able to automatically detect overcrowding, unattended baggage and perimeter intrusions.” This will enable Sochi to provide a warning, or “advanced protection to critical infrastructure and public buildings,” to “monitor, detect, and manage traffic congestion and illegal parking, and prevent loitering and overcrowding situations in public buildings and commercial areas.”
In other words, any unconventional behavior will be noticed.
NICE, a well-known entity when it comes to securing high-risk, high-visibility events, sets up what’s called a C4I control center (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) that deploys a wide array of technologies including cameras, sensors, intelligent fences all streaming data into a single point of assessment. Its most recent project was the Superbowl.
Read more at GLOBAL POST.