According to a Kremlin press release , dated January 4, 2014 Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Amendments to the Presidential Executive Order No. 686 of August 19, 2013, On Peculiarities of Applying Enhanced Security Measures During the XXII Winter Olympic Games and the XI Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
The Executive Order applies to mass events to be held during the period from January 7 to March 21, 2014, that are not linked to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Amendments authorize unprecedented security measures including authorization to intercept any and all telephony or data traffic and even track the use of sensitive words or phrases mentioned in emails, webchats and on social media via the Russian “SORM” program.
SORM (Russian: Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий, literally “System for Operative Investigative Activities”) is a technical system for search and surveillance in the internet. A Russian law passed in 1995 allows the FSB to monitor telephone and internet communications.
While it pails in comparison to PRISM (a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program known to have been operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007 ) a leaflet from the US state department’s bureau of diplomatic security earlier this year “warned anyone travelling to the Games to be extremely cautious with communications.”