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2012 Olympics Security to be Chosen by Sponsorship 165

Posted by Zonk
from the bribery-it's-everywhere-you-want-to-be dept.
denebian devil writes "In an Editorial/Blog at ITPRO, Davey Winder writes of a keynote speech at Infosecurity Europe by Member of Parliament Derek Wyatt. In this speech, which was about the IT security demands of running the 2012 London Olympics, Derek Wyatt MP dropped the bombshell that IT Security at the Olympics will hinge not on which companies show themselves to be the best in their field or to have the technology that best meets the needs of the Olympics, but rather on whether or not the companies were a 'major sponsor' of the Olympics. So who has bought their way into being the security experts of choice, and with whom our security and that of the visiting millions will rest? Visa."
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2012 Olympics Security to be Chosen by Sponsorship

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  • Who will win the Pyrite medal?
  • Oh the drones of people who will get infected via XSS attacks. Nice to see there will be money to be made via this stupid mechanism for choosing IT security... It wasn't too long ago (April fools this year) where Cisco via an XSS attack posted something funny [infiltrated.net]... Can you imagine the wet dreams malware authors, virus creators, and XSS injectors are having right now.
    • by numbski (515011) * <numbskiNO@SPAMhksilver.net> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:49AM (#18940819) Homepage Journal
      Well, in an attempt to NOT be cynical...at least Visa would have plenty of experience on the topic. Just because they are a huge, near-monopolistic entity doesn't mean they would be inept at choosing security. Granted, it's a pretty lame way to choose, but you have to admit, if anyone has experience on the subject...

      We always hear about the big hacks, we don't hear about the countless failed attempts though. Give credit where credit is due. (and make sure it's Visa©, as it's everywhere you want to be!) ;)
      • Most to lose (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CustomDesigned (250089) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:55AM (#18940919) Homepage Journal
        The policy is not completely loony. The biggest sponsors have the most to lose monetarily from a serious problem. The problem is that when corporations get too big, they seem no longer capable of acting rationally in their own financial best interest (e.g. Sony, Microsoft long term), so the profit motive loses effectiveness.
        • by sexyrexy (793497)
          That's not necessarily always true - companies larger than Sony or Microsoft, such as GE, continually make incredible strides in short-term and long-term profitability.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275)
        Just because they are a huge, near-monopolistic entity doesn't mean they would be inept at choosing security.

        While there may not be a provable causative link, I think that the past few decades have demonstrated empirically that huge corporations seem to do crummily at the whole security thing.
        • by magarity (164372) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:57AM (#18941907)
          the past few decades have demonstrated empirically that huge corporations seem to do crummily at the whole security thing
           
          It's also show that government beauracracies do just as poorly or even worse. So what is one to do? At least the corporations seem to waste a little bit less money doing security poorly.
        • by plover (150551) * on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @12:01PM (#18941979) Homepage Journal
          I still maintain that Visa is responsible for killing advances in credit security, rather than their current wrong-headed PCI approach to "enhance" them.

          A decade ago, Mastercard came up with the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol. This protocol cryptographically ensured the security of credit card data, and was designed to be implemented in hardware at the retailers. Each one of those PIN pads is capable of participating in the SET protocol.

          Visa killed it, because it rendered them irrelevant.

          Visa itself isn't a credit lender. Visa is a commercialized industry group, very similar to the RIAA, providing a common badge to paste on the front of thousands of banks, and a common mode of operation for those banks. When you get a Visa card, it looks and acts like any credit card from any of the member banks. That's important because you (and the merchants you shop at) trust that if your card has a Visa logo that it will be honored. Back in the late 70s, that was vitally important because most credit commerce was conducted off-line. But now that we have ubiquitous electronic networks and everyone authorizes credit cards before accepting them, that logo means almost nothing. Now, it's a question of "does the merchant trust that they'll get paid?" The Visa logo lets the cashier know that his store does (or does not) trust the bank on the other end of the transaction. It assures the merchant that yes, this Visa member bank will pay them. But with a fully online transaction, the payment could happen automatically and securely. The merchant wouldn't care where the card came from, since the authorization went directly to the customer's bank, and their bank transferred their money instantly before the customer even walked out the door. There would be no need for intermediaries to skim their transaction fees for operating a special bank-only network, as the secured transactions themselves could take place over any public network.

          This would have killed Visa. Instead, they swept SET under the rug and we've been dealing with phony cards and ID theft ever since. Now, they have a program called PCI-CISP, and it's used by Visa to deflect the blame to the merchants for leaking stolen data.

          • by digitig (1056110)

            The Visa logo lets the cashier know that his store does (or does not) trust the bank on the other end of the transaction.
            It works the other way too -- it lets the customer know that the establishment trusts the bank on the other end of the transaction. I wouldn't like to order and eat a meal in a fancy restaurant and only discover when the time came to pay whether the establishment would accept my credit card!
  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:46AM (#18940783) Journal
    I look forward to seeing guards dressed as Ronald McDonald and Mayor McCheese handing out the medals.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      But seriously, what guards? This is just about IT security, right? So there is nothing particularly at stake, no more so than any other e-commerce site on the web, or bricks-and-mortar store with a merchant CC account. Or do I misunderstand?
      • Joking aside, from what I read in the article it looks like they are talking about security control systems (ID card systems, etc) not internet sites.
    • as long as they can keep me safe from the Hamburglar who am i to argue?
  • by rbanzai (596355) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:47AM (#18940797)
    Business goes to those who spend the most money. It is not based on ability. Why? Because there is no accountability on either end of the process. Unless a company is threatened with the possibility of personal punishment for corporate stupidity then there are only rewards for this kind of system. If a business suffers or fails due to this kind of dumbness those responsible will just get a job somewhere else and leave the mess to someone else.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:57AM (#18940947) Homepage
      In the news tonight the Microsoft security teams missed a bomber at the Olympics village that killed 32 olympians.

      Microsoft said they will be issuing a patch next tuesday to fix the problem.
      • by arivanov (12034)
        You have been watching the Wrong channel(TM).

        Instead of watching Comedy Central you should actually watch the news.

        And on the news Ivan Slavkov has been completely exonerated and reinstated as a member of the International Olympic Comitee. After all his behaviour strictly adheres to the standards of this venerable institution and he is a shining example of how this institution functions and how the decisions in it have always been taken, are taken and will be taken for the forseable future.
    • by k1e0x (1040314)

      Yes, that's right.

      But the problem is not business.. its that they are allowed to incorporate in the first place. What that does it creates a "legal fiction" called a corporation and in essence this is protection for the people that run it.

      "Its not *my* fault.. its the fictitious corporation persons fault."

      I'm very pro business but governments have created special laws for rich people so that they can engage in questionable business practices.. and its wrong.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        The problem is that if you try to go without corporations, then who in their right mind would put themselves at risk of running a large corporation. Who's fault is it when something goes wrong. If I own a company, and all the risk is placed on my own personal assets, what happens when a patent lawsuit is brought up against the company and they have to liquidate all their assets? I surely wouldn't want that kind of risk, knowing I could lose everything. It gets even more complicated, when you have a publ
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by polar red (215081)
          Well, why shouldn't you be responsible for your deeds ? I'll make an analogy: If the company kills someone, then you could only sue the company, and not the person behind it ... this creates LAWLESSNESS.
          • by RexRhino (769423) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @12:20PM (#18942293)

            Well, why shouldn't you be responsible for your deeds ? I'll make an analogy: If the company kills someone, then you could only sue the company, and not the person behind it ... this creates LAWLESSNESS.
            The problem is not unique to corporations... the same thing exists with governments, churches, political parties, etc.

            Should we arrest the pope for illegal activity done by a priest?

            Should we arrest you for the illegal activity done by your mayor?

            Should we arrest all members of a political party because some are involved in corruption?

            Limits to liability are not unique to corporations. They exist for nearly any large collective of people. When I can sue you for violating my constitutional rights when you vote for censorship, or gun control, or the patriot act, or for being a member of a church that engaged in brutal crusades in the middle ages (or have you charged criminally), then that is the day you can sue me for owning a handful of shares of microsoft.
            • by dwandy (907337)

              Should we arrest the pope for illegal activity done by a priest?

              If the priests actions are part of church business, or at the behest of the church then, yes. If they are extracurricular activities like speeding, molesting children or robbing banks, then no. (This doesn't mean that if/when the pope finds out about illegal ventures of the priest they have any protection either....)

              Should we arrest you for the illegal activity done by your mayor? / Should we arrest all members of a political party because som

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            The problem is that if an employee of the company kills someone, and the company gets sued, then the owner of the company would be the own losing out. The reason corporations exist is because if you are the owner of the company, you can't really control everything that happens with the company. If you own a car company, you can't oversee every design aspect that goes into each car. Therefore, while you can do your best to try to stop bad things from happening, you don't have complete god-like control ove
          • by malsdavis (542216)
            "If the company kills someone, then you could only sue the company, and not the person behind it"
            It depends entirely on the jurisdiction.

            Most countries do have laws which allow employees/managers/bosses/executives etc. to be criminally tried for negligent actions carried out by their company.

            Of course the USA doesn't (although a couple of individual states do to some extent) because as everyone knows, Capitol Hill works for - and is funded by - big business. Big business is hardly going to allow them (read:
  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:49AM (#18940823)
    This should surprise nobody, as the olympics themselves are typically given to the city that spends the most $$ and bribes the most IOC officials.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:09AM (#18941169) Journal
      Why anyone bothers with this nationalistic jingoistic drug-fest is quite beyond me. There bringing the whole show to Vancouver in 2010, and we the local taxpayers are on the hook for all the cost overruns. Most of us won't be attending anyways, so the whole thing is a real joke on the unlucky souls who get to foot the bill.

      If they are going to have this stupid over-blown sportsfest, then why don't they just build a permanent facility, say, in Greece (that funny place where it actually began) and then fire every one of those corrupt, worthless bastards in the IOC.
      • by eln (21727) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:23AM (#18941389) Homepage
        That's a little unfair. Hosting the Olympics can totally transform a city's economy. After all, look at what's happened to Sarajevo since it hosted the Olympics in 1984!
      • Don't blame the olympics. Blame the media for putting up the lamest events on tv. There are so many, like shooting and fencing that are rarely aired. I don't know about Canada but we (US) like to only show events where we have a good chance for gold.

           
        • by Bazman (4849) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @12:11PM (#18942169) Journal
          Plenty of shooting on US tv. Its called 'The News'.

        • by sconeu (64226)
          <NBC;>
          Yo, Mr. IOC. We think you should ban all sports where them there furriners do better than us red-blooded Americans! Or you should change the rules so that us 'Mericans can beat them lousy furriners!

          Why, we have to come up with more inspirational stories about a brave American who overcame a hangnail to fill time, when we can't show an American winning a gold medal!
          </NBC;>

          This is solely my opinion of NBC's coverage.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I was under the impress that the olympics made money for the cities, even including the cost of building venues. Although I think that Atlanta was the first city to make money. From my understanding, it's quite easy to make money once you sell it as a big ad-fest.
        • by sconeu (64226)
          I was under the impress that the olympics made money for the cities, even including the cost of building venues. Although I think that Atlanta was the first city to make money

          Los Angeles, 1984. L.A. got it pretty much by default -- nobody else wanted it after the Montreal debacle. The LAOOC were the ones who kicked off the corporatization. IIRC, decathlete gold medalist Daley Thomson wore a T-shirt at the closing ceremonies complaining about the advertising.
          • by sconeu (64226)
            Damn. I need to learn how to use preview :-)

            I was under the impress that the olympics made money for the cities, even including the cost of building venues.

            Montreal lost somewhere in the vicinity of $1Billion (whether US or Canadian, I don't know).

            Although I think that Atlanta was the first city to make money

            Los Angeles, 1984. L.A. got it pretty much by default -- nobody else wanted it after the Montreal debacle. The LAOOC were the ones who kicked off the corporatization. IIRC, decathlete gold medalist
      • by Bogtha (906264)

        Why anyone bothers with this nationalistic jingoistic drug-fest is quite beyond me.

        Money. All those tourists coming to watch the Olympics spend money on hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, souveniers, etc. Everything a hundred thousand foreigners spend during a couple of weeks now belongs to the host country, and what's more, they'll go back home and tell their friends what a nice city you have, and maybe come back again themselves as well. The four billion people watching on television might

        • This is precisely the bizarro economics used to justify these nationalistic monstrosities; trickle-down economics at its worst. When the taxpayer sees vast amounts borrowed in his and/or her name, the interest from that very likely disappearing into the balance sheet of some of the uber-banks, the notion that some small part of it might stay in the local economy just doesn't seem to cut it. Worse, for those people living in the state/province/country but not in the immediate jurisdiction, the benefits are
          • by Bogtha (906264)

            This is precisely the bizarro economics used to justify these nationalistic monstrosities; trickle-down economics at its worst.

            This isn't "bizarro economics", this is perfectly reasonable. Lots of people coming into your country from elsewhere and spending their money on local goods and services increases the amount of money a country has. Spending lots of taxpayers' money on local goods and services does not decrease the amount of money a country has. Doing the latter to encourage the former is a

            • by TobascoKid (82629)
              Spending lots of taxpayers' money on local goods and services does not decrease the amount of money a country has.

              But it is decreasing the amount of money I, as a taxpayer, have with no near or even long term benefit to me. If there was some form of "tourist tax", where the proceeds went straight back to those of us who are paying the extra taxes then maybe it could be viewed as some form of investment - but seeing as tourists don't even have to pay VAT I doubt there's going to be some special tax for them.
        • by TobascoKid (82629)
          But the souvenirs are made in China and some of the hotels use Indian call centres to take reservations. And where does the money made by the people-traffickers smuggling in sex-slaves [bbc.co.uk] go?

          I'm not convinced that the amount of money brought in by tourism is greater than the amount of money being spent. I doubt it's anywhere near what they're spending. It's not like London was that short of tourists before the Olympics. If London is the 6th wealthiest city on the planet [breitbart.com], does it really need that much of an inj
      • here bringing the whole show to Vancouver in 2010, and we the local taxpayers are on the hook for all the cost overruns. Most of us won't be attending anyways, so the whole thing is a real joke on the unlucky souls who get to foot the bill.

        I take it you aren't a skier then? The upgrades done to the Sea-to-Sky highway up to Whistler are amazing. I realize that most highways in the GVA are somewhat of a joke, but what they've done up there is, as I said, amazing. I'm pretty sure that the BC government woul
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:50AM (#18940839)
    This impacts none of you nerds. Everyone here has asthma.
  • by henele (574362) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:50AM (#18940841) Homepage

    The British Government makes a shady tech sourcing decision?

    There have already been a bunch - for example, Accenture acts as a 'Premium Partner' supporting the London bid [sportsaid.org.uk] then lands a contract for the back office systems [silicon.com].

  • by Billosaur (927319) * <`wgrother' `at' `optonline.net'> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:51AM (#18940849) Journal

    ...brought to you by Nissan... VISA... JP Morgan Chase... Al Qaeada...

    • I look forward to following the athletic exploits of our beloved corporate representatives...I mean our American atheletes.
  • by malsdavis (542216) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:51AM (#18940853)
    Visa are of course an extremely qualified company to look after the IT security of the games however. Regardless of anything else they would be amongst the top couple of contenders anyway.

  • by rbanzai (596355) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:51AM (#18940859)
    Zonk, your persistent use of misleading headlines to stir up the posters is unprofessional. This is only the latest in a long string.

    Your headline says "2012 Olympics Security to be Chosen by Sponsorship" and with security such an issue of course the reader will at first believe that it is PHYSICAL security in question.

    You know damn well this is not the case. I am just one of the many who want you to start showing a little class and write headlines that accurately reflect the story, not the inflammatory fiction that you would prefer.

    This is a technology site and this is a technology story. To fancy that it is anything else is an extravagance on your part, unprofessional and in the end, juvenile.
    • the reader will at first believe that it is PHYSICAL security in question.

      Yes, because it's not like this is some sort of tech or IT news on IT.Slashdot.org
      • by rbanzai (596355) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:36AM (#18941587)
        It does not free him from the responsibility of writing an accurate headline instead of one he has written to deliberately misrepresent the content, his frequent approach. For a recent example check out this whopper: "HP Stops Selling Printers, Starts Selling Prints." (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/19/16920 8)

        Of course HP is not going to stop selling printers. But why let that stop him from writing a headline to make the story seem far more significant than it really is? Instead of letting the story stand on its own merit he needs to cook it.

        And no, I'm not going to filter out his stories because I reserve the right to challenge him every time he does it, watering down one of my favorite websites with his bungled content.
        • by Sherloqq (577391)
          Eh, c'mon, this is Slashdot, what do you expect? First-class journalism? Pfft.

          Besides, even techies look for a little sensationalism in their headlines. They have to deal with boring IT stuff on a regular basis, fer cryin' out loud. A catchy headline makes their pulse quicken. And in a lot of cases, that's the most exercise their cardiovascular systems get all day. You could say, Zonk's doing their health a favor.

          • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @01:45PM (#18943719)
            Eh, c'mon, this is Slashdot, what do you expect? First-class journalism? Pfft.

            I expect headlines that aren't outright falsehoods, which a large number have been recently. Sometimes they just repeat falsehoods in the linked stories ("hot ice burns!") but they are often the pure fabrication of /. editors, who apparently believe that "news for nerds" means, "headlines that lie".

            One of the things that distinguishes nerds from normal people is that nerds have a low tolerance for falsehood. This is why we don't have any friends. The technology we work with every day has no sense of humour. The system of 19 coupled differential equations I am banging my head against right now doesn't care how I feel or what I think: the only thing that matters is that my code--and my math--is exactly right.

            This is the way nerds approach the world, and we have nothing but pity for people who are so stupid as to put anything ahead of truth, because we know that the truth is what moves the world. Everything else--however deadly or destructive it sometimes can be--is just the transient flailing of sad little people who want to put their fantasies in place of reality.
            • by Sherloqq (577391)
              I apologize. I included a "sarcasm" tag in my response, but that got filtered out and I submitted without previewing. My post was not to be taken seriously, at least not by the serious people like yourself :) It was supposed to be thought-provoking, flamebait even, but to the "other" side. And, BTW, I'm on your side on this one. It's just that sometimes I get fed up and feel like sarcasm is the only way to get people's attention.
        • Almost every slashdot editor does this. If you have a particular beef with an editor, your best bet to make them change is to Filter them, and encourage others to do so.

          Slashdot runs like every other website, hits on their pages, and hits on their ads. This translates to eyeballs generating revenue. Remove the eyeballs, and Slashdot gets hurt, and they begin to learn their lesson. By posting comments you are only doing exactly what the editors want, which is to stir things up and get eyeballs on the art
        • If you watch the games section you'll notice he posts a lot of worthless shit there including his own little soap box reviews.

          As I recall his excuse is "I work the late shift when stories are slow and I have to use what I have", which is clearly bullshit since it is now 8pm GMT and he's posting in pretty much prime time with the same junk.

          Maybe we should all change our sigs to "Zonk belongs on Digg, not /." and e-mail Taco about it every day until he gets the hint.
    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rockout (1039072) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:52AM (#18941825)
      I, for one, get Slashdot stories via an RSS live bookmark on Firefox, and I don't know that the headline refers to a story at it.slashdot.org - I have to agree that Zonk's headline is extremely misleading, as when I see "Olympics" and "security" I immediately assume the headline refers to physical security.
  • That's Capitalism, bucko!
    • Re:Ah, Smell that? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by k1e0x (1040314) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:11AM (#18941217) Homepage


      No its not, its Corruption.

      Corporations are an affront to the free market. Governments have allowed rich people to create legal fiction to protect themselves if there business were to do something questionable. Laws allowing people to incorporate and receive such special protection are wrong and not part of pure Capitalism.

      What if something does happen.. So you think the "security company" will be head accountable for providing poor security? Unlikely.. maybe the CEO will retire with a large payout.. err.. I mean "step down" .. In a pure capitalism society that man would be liable not the fictions corporation.
      • People who'd have to take responsibility for their actions? OMG, say it ain't so.

        Thanks for that rant -- its nice to know at least two of us believe people ought to be held accountable for their own actions.

        PS to everyone -- your work place is not the military. You are not taking orders. You are a human being. If you think what you're asked to do is wrong or stupid, say so, fix it, come out in public, do something, don't just let Bob (random dude -- no offense to Bobs of the world) do it instead.
      • I was trying to be sarcastic.

        I actually agree with you.

      • Re:Ah, Smell that? (Score:4, Informative)

        by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @01:27PM (#18943419)
        Apparently you've never employed anyone, or been a member of a partnership. Employees and partners aren't slaves or children, and their boss can't control all their actions. Therefore their boss should not be held accountable for all their actions.

        Let's say Joe from IT uses his access to the business systems to get the backup encryption key and then steals one of the archived DB backup tapes. When he gets home he extracts a list of credit card numbers and sells or uses them. In this scenario the business policy provided reasonable protection of the credit card numbers -- the business systems were secured from general access and the tapes were encrypted. But Joe used the access he was necessarily granted to do his job to violate the trust of his employer and steal credit card numbers. Why should the CEO be personally liable?

        Or for a small-business example try this one: you and your partner start a business. You hire skilled and reliable workers, you do good work, and your customers love you. Everything is going great and you land a big contract. Then your partner takes all of your liquid assets including the contract payment and skips town. Your business now has no cash to complete the contract or issue a refund, and you didn't do anything wrong, other than trust your partner -- should you lose your home because your business partner turned out to be a thief?

        There are scenarios where the directors or owners should be held accountable; any time that the management of a company makes decisions that hurt people though direct action or negligence they should be held accountable. And contrary to your apparent belief it is possible to sue the directors and owners of a company personally in any case where they were actually at fault. It's just not possible to sue them personally in cases where they were not at fault, and there are socially valid reasons for making that distinction.
  • Can't Wait (Score:4, Funny)

    by styryx (952942) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:56AM (#18940941)
    I hope there's going to be some funny messages popping up on the screens on live TV.

    You couldn't buy that kind of comedy...Oh, wait; nevermind.
  • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:57AM (#18940951) Homepage
    Have you checked what industry visa is in ? Obviously they know a thing or two about both physical and electronic security.

    That they succeeded in the banking business obviously means they know to strike a good balance between security and costs. And that's exactly what the olympics is looking for.
  • The Olympics lost their way when NBC (owned by General Electric) and Dick Ebersol "monetized" them. Now, they're all about lining up sponsors and corporate sponsorships. The television audience gets more athletes' backstories that they can have a cry over than compelling competitions. That's how it is. Money and mediocrity are always seeking an equilibrium with each other.
    • by i.r.id10t (595143)
      But some good comes of it... in fact, my Grandma and Uncle had Coke convert a couple hundred hours worth of home video footage from whatever camera Grandma and Grandpa had to VHS for the '84 Olympics... of course, they wanted her personally taken footage of the '32 Olympics opening ceremonies (Grandma was secretary to the GM of the '32 Olympics), but we weren't quite sure which reel they were on. So Coke converted all of it for us. Way cool.
  • Overblown (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moggyboy (949119)
    I'm utterly amazed that any of you are surprised or outraged by this. With an Olympic Games staging costing host cities billions of dollars, it's a no-brainer that they'll pander to the whims of any company willing to subsidize this cost, and thus reduce the organising committee from having to pull all of the funding out of taxpayers dollars.

    It's just business kids, get over it.

    • by nasch (598556)

      they'll pander to the whims of any company willing to subsidize this cost
      I didn't see anything about Visa subsidizing the costs in the article. It said the UK govt is paying a billion dollars for security, but I don't remember any mention of Visa chipping in. Did I miss it?
  • how much sponsorship Diebold has put out toward the Olympic Games?
    • by sconeu (64226)
      In other news, The USOC has pushed the IOC to Diebold to do all the voting machines for the judged sports...
  • Commercialization (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZeroConcept (196261) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:18AM (#18941317)
    Modern Olympics are a distant image from the virtuous competition they once were, commercialization has saturated any space it had for admiration. To the athletes kudos for enduring this, to the management shame on their lack of ethics.
  • Sounds like putting a band together based on how it looks....

  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:26AM (#18941417)
    Evaluating security products effectively can be very difficult and expensive. I have no problem with them doing this by sponsorship. But they shouldn't just hand over technical security to whoever happens to be the biggest advertising sponsor, even if it's McDonalds or Microsoft or someone else who doesn't know anything about it. They should solicit bids for a security sponsor. That is, companies place bids separately to run the security services for the Olympics. These bids could be positive (they pay the Olympics) or negative (how much the Olympics has to pay them), along with a proposal explaining what they will do to keep things secure and their experience in the field, etc. They also get a certain amount of advertising on things, "Olympic IT Security Provided by Whoever." If the ads say "Olympic Security Provided by Symantec," and the headlines are "Olympic Security in Shambles; website defaced, credit card numbers stolen, official Olympic records changed," this isn't so good for the company. Realizing this potential ahead of time, in placing bids, security companies will have a very strong incentive to submit competent proposals.

    Visa isn't tied in so much in this way, because their bijillion ads won't specify that they're handling security. Also, if they got this by favoritism based on advertising sponsorship, and not based on competitive bids, then the Olympics is probably paying them too much for what they're getting.
  • by Bandman (86149)
    Glad I don't have tickets to that.

  • Mastercard were the official credit card and tickets and souvenirs from official shops and sites could only be bought with Mastercard. Just wait until McDonalds twig to that one...
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again: Laissez-faire capitalism simply does not work.

  • And during the Atlanta Summer games, and the Salt Lake City Winter games, the US was berated for "excessive sponsorship" and being "too commercial".

    -- Ravensfire
    • by TobascoKid (82629)
      There have been more and more calls to get the 2012 Olympics as privately funded as possible(here [inthenews.co.uk] for example). It's starting to make life hard for charities and organizations that actually help people. Those charities and organizations that provide what is essentially entertainment (ie, sport) are doing rather well though.

      I really don't think the government thought they had the slightest chance of getting the Olympics, so they never bothered to work out how much it would really cost and now everybody's pay
  • The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver had a very similar situation (probably more than one). TELUS, the major telco in BC/Alberta is a founding sponsor of the olympics, providing massive amounts of support, arranging charity events and driving the process to get the olympics to BC. In the end though.. a non local company with more $$$ (Bell) took the win with more advertising $$ pledged.
  • Visa will be the general contractor. They'll do what they know how to do and farm out the rest.
  • I doubt the big players want to handle this. Who wants all your security hardware, software and setup techniques stolen?
  • This seems like a fine idea.
    If you're a large international you don't want to fail in public.
    If you are going to fail in public, then you really don't want to do it on possibly the largest platform on the planet - especially after you've paid for the privilege of climbing onto it.
    Don't think of it as sponsorship, think of it as a gigantic security deposit paid upfront.

  • The antics and corruption of the IOC is well publicized for anyone who cares to familiarize themselves with the situation, and the antics will continue as long as the money continues to flow. Where does the money come from? The people who watch and attend the Olympics, or endorse the companies who sponsor the Olympics by consuming those brands. It's no different than spam lovers. Spam only exists because there is a segment of the population who choose to consume the services that spam offers, to buy the
  • It ceased to be a display of talent and achievement generations ago and was turned into a media/business circus.

    Sad really, is there anything left that greed hasn't yet corrupted?
  • by jmv (93421)
    In an other announcement, the IOC said that for the 2016 olympics, medalists will also be Chosen by Sponsorship. Ronald McDonals is expected to win a record of 10 gold medals.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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