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Forget the Yellow Sochi Hotel Water; You're Being Spied On

To much amusement, the biggest gripe so far at the Winter Olympics has been the not-ready-for-prime-time plumbing, exemplified by a photo of deeply hued tap water, tweeted by Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair.

But as is often the case, the bigger threat to visitors may be the one they can’t see. As athletes, journalists, and spectators arrive in Sochi, their every electonic move is being watched. All information transmitted in the country via phone and Internet, including text messages and e-mails, is flowing through the Russian System for Operational-Investigative Activities, according to the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council. The council is warning American travelers that the system, known as SORM, has had an upgrade in Sochi just in time for the games, allowing the Federal Security Service (formerly known as the KGB) enhanced access to communications.