Friday, February 7, 2014

Security and weird things in Sochi, Russia

Since so many people have asked me, I thought I would throw together a quick blog to answer some questions that many of you have had about security, hacking and spying here in Russia. And some people also asked about the food and other strange things here.

Lets start with the hacking of computers, cell phones, and tablets. I have used all three of my devices, here at the Olympic Park, where I trust that we are secure. But, before I heard all the rumblings about hacking, I did indeed use my computer, my iPhone 5S and my iPad Air on public WiFi in Moscow. I connected to the WiFi at the Marriott, at some restaurants, and at the airport. But, with that said, I never opened any email attachments or visited any strange web sites. Is that to say that I am safe from hacking? Of course not. But, I am not very worried about this since I do not have highly sensitive data on my devices, and have probably been just as vulnerable in countless other countries, including the U.S.



I have also rumors of spying cameras at the hotels, and although that might be true, I am not sure what they would see. I took this photo this morning as I stood in the doorway to my "hotel" room. Why are there three cameras there? I have no idea. But, am I concerned? I really am not. All they will see is me coming and going, and maybe taking this photo. :)



When I checked into my "hotel", I saw this weird white box on the wall of the bathroom. For the last couple of days, I assumed that it might be one of those hot water heaters. But this morning I opened it and found that it is a fire hose??? It is weird that I have this hose in the bathroom, but still no garbage cans, shower curtains, phone, working TV... Love that.


The food here is definitely different, but I will eat just about anything. Looking at these photos, you might think that these are the dinner offering, but nope, this is breakfast.


The good news is that breakfast is included for free, so I pick whatever will work for me, and am happy to be fed.


Outside our buildings, they have set up little stands which are selling Russian goodies, including this. I passed on this one.

Figue skating photos to come...

7 comments:

Brian said...

I expected the different food, cameras in the hall and other oddities but I didn't see the fire hose in the bathroom coming! Reading your blogs and looking through your photos makes the Olympics come alive. Thanks Jeff.

Dawn Galland said...

Thank you for sharing your experience in Sochi with us. I'm enjoying seeing it through your eyes and camera lens. Even with all the messed up rooms, it will be a great memory of your trip to Sochi. Along with the pictures I find I love the experience's that come along with taking them, some good some bad. You will come back with great stories along with beautiful pictures.
DawnGalland

Dawn Galland said...

Thank you for sharing your experience in Sochi with us. I'm enjoying seeing it through your eyes and camera lens. Even with all the messed up rooms, it will be a great memory of your trip to Sochi. Along with the pictures I find I love the experience's that come along with taking them, some good some bad. You will come back with great stories along with beautiful pictures.

Anonymous said...

Keep 'em coming Jeff. Enjoying your viewpoint of the Olympics!! ~AJ

Pat D said...

I can't say cameras in the hallways is a big deal... have you ever been to a Holiday Inn or Best Western in the US that didn't have cameras all over the place?

As for wifi privacy, none should be expected in public places like hotels and airports. Besides, I doubt the Russian intelligence agencies can outdo the current NSA surveillance of the internet and phone systems.

John M Hanley said...

I am enjoying the back story of Sochi! Thanks for giving us the real story. BE safe!

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