With the city situated close to the various insurgencies of the North Caucasus, it soon became apparent that security concerns would be paramount. But it was not only the terrorist threat that had to be considered.
So as the oligarch-funded construction firms started building the venues and infrastructure for the Olympics, the FSB began making plans for a more shadowy kind of network, to address the vulnerabilities of the event.
The main role in providing security for the Olympics was handed over to the FSB in 2010, and in May of that year, Oleg Syromolotov, one of the bureau's deputy directors, was appointed as chairman of the interdepartmental operations staff to provide security at the Games. Intriguingly, Syromolotov has never been involved in counterterrorism.
Instead, he is the long-standing chief of the FSB's counterintelligence department. He has spent his entire career at the KGB and then the FSB, hunting down foreign spies. His training and experience is in identifying foreign threats.
At a conference in
Sorm's tactical and technical foundations were developed by a KGB research institute in the mid-1980s, and have been updated ever since. Now, the Sorm-1 system captures telephone and mobile phone communications, Sorm-2 intercepts internet traffic, and Sorm-3 collects information from all forms of communication, providing long-term storage of all information and data on subscribers, including actual recordings and locations.
Since 2010, according to procurement and tender documents collated from the communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, Russian authorities have been busy making sure that Sorm equipment is properly installed in the Sochi region; and several local ISPs were fined when it was discovered they had failed to install Omega, the Sorm device recommended by the FSB.
One record from Roskomnadzor shows that last November, the ISP Sochi-Online was warned officially for "failing to introduce the required technical equipment to ensure the functioning of Sorm".
Mobile networks in Sochi have also been significantly updated. In June,
Visitors determined to take their laptops and smartphones to Sochi may be under the impression their communications are safe, thanks to the sophisticated encryption provided by most web giants such as Google and Facebook. They are likely to be wrong.
Conventional security measures will also be high at Sochi, with more than 40,000 police on duty, more than 5,000 surveillance cameras installed across the city and drones hovering overhead. Sochi will be the first time that surveillance drones have been used at an Olympics, with both the FSB and the interior ministry acquiring drones and planning to use them, according to information in the FSB's in-house magazine.
The FSB has also purchased two sonar systems to detect submarines and protect the Olympics from a sea-launched terror attack.
All protests have been banned during the runup to the Olympics, and the city will be in lockdown with only accredited vehicles allowed to enter.
Last week an FSB official, Alexei Lavrishchev, denied that Sochi would look like a "concentration camp", saying that compared with
Oleg Syromolotov, who is in charge of security at the Sochi Games, has spent his career hunting foreign spies
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