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Look out! It’s the Wi-Fi Police…

Sponsorship is almost bigger than the sport at the Olympics. Big, big money is paid to the International Olympic Committee for exclusive rights, and the IOC is going to great lengths to protect its income…

BT is the “official communications service provider” for the London 2012 Olympics and have set up 1500 Wi-Fi hotspots at and around Olympic venues. Pricing starts from £5.99 for an hour and a half. To ensure revenue, they’ve banned “personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs” from all areas covered by the BT hotspots.

That’s right. You can’t just switch on your wireless hotspot on your smartphone so you can use your tablet for a few minutes. That’s banned.

So, how would you police this? Simple! Use the Wi-Fi police! Sadao Turner tweeted a picture of the “Wi-Fi police” walking around with big red detectors, looking for your hotspot.

This is just the latest in a string of protective moves by the IOC to protect their sponsors. Only official sponsors who have paid enough are permitted to use the Olympic rings in advertising. Fair enough, you say. How about not being able to use words like “gold”, “silver” or “bronze”? Even “London” and “summer” have been banned from advertisements, in case they are seen to be tacking themselves onto the Olympics.

So if you are at the Olympics and feel like tweeting a few photos of your own, you can, but it may cost you…

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