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Telecom Firms Won't Be Compensated for Use of Frequencies During Olympics

Extensive electronic eavesdropping and surveillance are aprt of the upcoming Olympic's security measures, with smart phones and laptops vulnerable to having their signals intercepted. Maxim Stulov

Telecommunications operators will not get any compensation for losses resulting from the possible use of their frequencies by law enforcement and security agencies during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Interfax reported Friday, citing a draft of a Communications and Press Ministry ruling.

Explaining its rationale, the ministry said that the federal law on Olympic Games did not stipulate any compensation in such cases.

Meanwhile, the previous draft of the ruling envisaged compensation for telecom operators.

The restrictions on radio frequencies will mostly affect Wi-Fi operators and will not apply to mobile networks, a cellular firm source said.

Security measures in Sochi will include extensive electronic eavesdropping and surveillance, the Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday, citing Russian investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan. Internet, telephone and other communications providers are obliged to provide unimpeded access to security services, they said.

The U.S. State Department has advised Americans headed to Russia to leave smart phones and laptops at home because their signals could be intercepted, Soldatov and Borogan said.

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