Wireless hotspots banned from London Olympics 2012 venues

If you happen to be attending one or more of the 2012 Olympic Games events in London over the next few weeks (it officially starts on Friday) and have a smartphone with a mobile hotspot feature, you are technically not allowed to use that hotspot at those locations. The official London2012.com website has posted a list of items that are prohibited or restricted during the games and wireless 3G hotspots is one of them.

The posted list states that among the banned items are: "Personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs (smart devices such as Android phones, iPhone and tablets are permitted inside venues, but must not be used as wireless access points to connect multiple devices)."

In other words, if you have both a wireless smartphone with a hotspot feature and a laptop, you can't turn on the hotspot to use as a WiFi connection for your laptop to, say, liveblog the Olympic event inside an official venue.

There's no word on how officials at the 2012 Olympic Games will enforce this "no hotspot" decision, but it does seem like an odd thing to ban. There will be a ton of journalists there who were likely counting on using their smartphone's hotspot feature in this particular manner.

Via: Engadget
Source: London2012.com | Image via London2012.com

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51 Comments

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has anyone take a careful look of the london olympic logo. it looks like a person kneeling and doing something to another standing person's groin. which is exactly what the london olympic feels like so far. security snafu. korean flag fiasco. potential custom strikes. etc. going to be interdestink to see how low the british empire will go.

Albert said,
has anyone take a careful look of the london olympic logo. it looks like a person kneeling and doing something to another standing person's groin.

Yes, yes, yes, Lisa Simpson and all that.

But I wonder if the Olympic Committee designed it or picked it from a list, or if it was all us.

Albert said,
has anyone take a careful look of the london olympic logo. it looks like a person kneeling and doing something to another standing person's groin. which is exactly what the london olympic feels like so far. security snafu. korean flag fiasco. potential custom strikes. etc. going to be interdestink to see how low the british empire will go.

Not really...Only if you really tried hard enough.

pft... yeah I bet they will arrest you over this I'd do it anyway using a WIDE OPEN FOXFI if I had an unlimited connection and let the people eat just for the hell of it!

The Olympics is becoming rather ridiculous. They are even putting tape on top of the branding on hand dryers in public toilets, just because the hand dryer manufacturers didn't pay for advertising rights.

Ad Man Gamer said,
The Olympics is becoming rather ridiculous. They are even putting tape on top of the branding on hand dryers in public toilets, just because the hand dryer manufacturers didn't pay for advertising rights.

that's just going to far

Ad Man Gamer said,
The Olympics is becoming rather ridiculous. They are even putting tape on top of the branding on hand dryers in public toilets, just because the hand dryer manufacturers didn't pay for advertising rights.

Ripe it off in protest and seal it with a good coating of fat, so the next tape will peel off itself.

I'm boycotting that POS show this year, just like I did with the China Olympics.
That means: no paid content, not even watching it although I'm interested in some sports and not going there.

Fascist Olympics is fascist.

GS:mac

I find it more entertaining when the Olympics is in another country. Here it's being flung in our face for months, every ad break Online and on the TV. Every google adverts website it's there. Every uk news website it's there. Just get on with the games and stop putting out these silly regulations. Luckily I have a subscriber account on here so I don't get adverts but then articles like this pop up.

Kirkburn said,

No, Olympics. It's the Olympics doing this, not London.

Whilst true, this is just the topping on an already big pizza of bullcrappery!

London is one of the most exciting cities on this planet if you ask me, however it's an absolutely creepy example of police state with CCTV covering nearly EVERY square centimeter.
You literally cannot walk around in London and not see a CCTV sign SOMEWHERE.

That's just ONE of the things that make London so creepy, during the Olympics that place is even more horrible.

GS:mac

It really is ridiculous how much regulation they're putting into this event. I can understand regulations that impact safety, but this isn't for safety.

Warboy said,
Simple, Turn off Broadcasting of the SSID.
That means nothing. Any decent scanner now a days can see the station even with the SSID off.

necrosis said,
That means nothing. Any decent scanner now a days can see the station even with the SSID off.

Will that scanner show your face on it so they can pick you out from a crowd of thousands?

kravex said,

Will that scanner show your face on it so they can pick you out from a crowd of thousands?

No but I'm pretty sure any decent person involved in that area of security that's worth their weight could figure out the IP and MAC address of the device broadcasting the hotspot. With the power most governments have, all bets are off at that point. Easy enough to figure out the carrier from the IP then send them a nice little 'request' for the record of the IP for X date and time.

However, as said before this is most likely an issue of maintaining bandwidth and minimizing frequency congestion. As I'm 100% positive there is plenty of wireless traffic from the even alone. Factor in security, safety/medical personnel, vending, communication in general, and a few others and you have a cluster f*** of traffic even on wifi frequencies.

The last thing they need jacking with any of that are people stupid Facebook posts with pictures and videos, twitter updates, and "hi mom" video calls on wifi.

kravex said,

Will that scanner show your face on it so they can pick you out from a crowd of thousands?

yeah it will come flying down out of they sky and pic you out of the croud like the bot did to neo in the matrix and then call for backup.

Warboy said,
Simple, Turn off Broadcasting of the SSID.

That wont help, even if you turn broadcasting off, the devices that are associated with it know the ssid and when they send packets your ssid is transmitted with those packets, completely defeating the hidden feature.

tools like airodump can achieve this in one command line.

kravex said,

Will that scanner show your face on it so they can pick you out from a crowd of thousands?

wifi-honing drones flying around!

Simplest solution, what I and the majority of UK people will do, is just ignore the olympics and go and do something more productive, like frequent neowin or play games

BeLGaRaTh said,
Simplest solution, what I and the majority of UK people will do, is just ignore the olympics and go and do something more productive, like frequent neowin or play games

I am extremely productive when they air womens beach volleyball....

MikeInBA said,

I am extremely productive when they air womens beach volleyball....

the volleyball outfits might not be so nice this year... =( too cold

MikeInBA said,

I am extremely productive when they air womens beach volleyball....

yeah wait till you see what they wear this year, it wont be bikini's... its tank tops and shorts.....

All types of knives and bladed items, including pocket knives and knives carried as part of cultural dress (excluding the Sikh article of faith kirpan/ceremonial dagger)

Ahh yes. Religious items are always OK. Even if its a weapon.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
How is that relevant?

Not relevant to the article, is relevant to society. I wasn't aware there was a rule that comments had to be relevant to the article.

De.Bug said,

Not relevant to the article, is relevant to society. I wasn't aware there was a rule that comments had to be relevant to the article.

Purple bananas and straight corners

necrosis said,
All types of knives and bladed items, including pocket knives and knives carried as part of cultural dress (excluding the Sikh article of faith kirpan/ceremonial dagger)

Ahh yes. Religious items are always OK. Even if its a weapon.

Oh so did you intend to take a knife in with you and now your annoyed because you can't??

Honestly people these days are so picky about these tiny aspects I'm amazed England is a multicultural society. Reminds me of secondary school where someone of another religion is allowed to avoid certain classes of R.E. It was no big deal then so why do adults make it into one?

De.Bug said,

Not relevant to the article, is relevant to society. I wasn't aware there was a rule that comments had to be relevant to the article.

...and the cat goes moo

De.Bug said,

Not relevant to the article, is relevant to society. I wasn't aware there was a rule that comments had to be relevant to the article.

That's OK, now you know.

whitebread said,
I'm betting they're banning it because they don't want to overload the available spectrum.

Why does it seem like you and I are the only two to understand this concept? If there were hundreds of people there running wifi hotspots, you can guarantee there would be a lot of wifi frequency congestion. I don't think this is something they are doing to be oppressive, just to make sure they don't end up with a networking disaster. Journalists will likely have access to a wireless network already run by the games. It's highly unlikely they will actually be enforcing this, rather requesting it and hoping it keeps the number down.

whitebread said,
I'm betting they're banning it because they don't want to overload the available spectrum.

Thats what I was thinking, perhaps they are using wireless to stream results and other info, now all they need is some little script kiddie with linux running around deauthing these devices, lol

whitebread said,
I'm betting they're banning it because they don't want to overload the available spectrum.

I think it's more likely that there is a commercial partner (i.e. British Telecom) who are offering the same service and don't want to lose earnings.

AJerman said,
Why does it seem like you and I are the only two to understand this concept?

Because its wrong?

Its nothing to do with spectrum, the Olympics is all about rights, TV stations and News Corporations have probably paid for the rights to report about the games, they don't want people with portable hotspots being able to blog out the news as it happens. They want people to go to their news sight to increase their ad revenue.

Perhaps they just dont want to impact other users nearby. Eg business and houses.
Congestion will grind any user within radio earshot to zero speed.

British olympics sound more and more fail, cant wear branded clothing other than the sponsors just in case they cry, cant use wifi hotspots, etc..

TheLegendOfMart said,
British olympics sound more and more fail, cant wear branded clothing other than the sponsors just in case they cry, cant use wifi hotspots, etc..

Yep. It's a shame france didn't get to host the olympics if I'm honest.

n_K said,

Yep. It's a shame france didn't get to host the olympics if I'm honest.

They would have been exactly the same as far as commercialism goes but I reckon there would have been more industrial action by the french government employees as they seem to love striking.

TheLegendOfMart said,
British olympics sound more and more fail, cant wear branded clothing other than the sponsors just in case they cry, cant use wifi hotspots, etc..

All these stupid rules are made by the IOC, it's been the same at all previous olympics and will be the same at future olympics.

To their credit though, one rule is there is no advertising inside the stadiums.