In the build-up to London 2012 we reported an interesting inclusion on the official list of prohibited items for Olympic venues, as “Personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs” were ruled out by Locog.
With BT an official partner of the Games and providing paid access to its network for attendees, it is likely officials imposed the rule to stamp out competition for a member of its ‘Olympic family’, just as food retailers have been forced to stop selling chips to preserve potato-stick hegemony for sponsor McDonalds.
According to evidence on Twitter, it appears the wireless hotspot ban is being taken seriously too, as American reporter Sadao Turner posted a picture (below) of a man allegedly detecting and stopping illegal Internet use.
Turner captioned the photo with the tweet, “Something you won't see on TV, this is the Olympics Wi-Fi Police. They seek unauthorized wifi signals & shut them down.”
We’ll be checking up on any further reports of an Olympic ‘Wi-Fi Police’, as well as signs of a patrol force to crack down on “flags of countries not participating in the Games”, “excessive amounts of food”, and “oversized hats” – which are all included on Locog’s official list of “restricted items”.
Turner’s post isn’t the first Olympic controversy stoked by the social network; in fact, we’ve been inundated. From an apparent Twitter suspension for a journalist’s outspoken tweets to a tweet excess hampering television encourage - and some rather distasteful tweets from, and directed at athletes thrown in for not so good measure.