London Olympics 2012

Restrictions and control

26th November

Offsite: Unoccupying the Olympics...

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Authorities taking precautions against the prospect of an Occupy London Olympics protest

A series of Home Office proposals could ban protests during the London 2012 Olympic games. In reaction to the longevity and scale of recent Occupy London takeovers of public and private space at St Paul's Cathedral, Finsbury Square and a former UBS bank, ministers are reported to be drafting legislation loosely based on part 3 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 -- paying particular note to restricting tents and sleeping equipment for up to 90 days around exclusion zones. Police and authorised officers will be allowed to disperse protests quickly. Presumably with reasonable force .

...Read the full article


7th April

 Offsite Article: Preparing for an Olympic Lockdown?...

So why are non-sports journalists based in London being advised to seek state accreditation?

See article from


28th April

Update: All Set for the London 1984 Olympics...

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Spectators to be banned from posting their own photos on Facebook

  Enjoy the Games!

Well it seems that Olympic authorities are predictably going to treat spectators as shit.

Amateur Photographer reports that it will be against Olympic rules to tweet, share on Facebook or in any way share your photos of the event.

Quite how this will be policed is beyond comprehension and one would hope police officers are not going to be expected to pursue anyone seen posting photos on Instagram.

The London 2012 conditions state:

Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.

Coming after moves to restrict public demonstrations, photographers being interrogated on public footpaths and concern around heavy-handed commercial restrictions on what logos you can wear inside the Olympic village, this is yet another worrying development.

Rather than being the celebration organisers promised, London 2012 is rapidly risking becoming one of the most intimidating and restrictive events seen for decades.


12th May

Extract: Don't Even Think About It!...

CD Universe

The Advert Censors ask LOCOG about the restrictions on advertising which references the London Olympics

The Advert Censors at ASA have asked London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) about the restrictions on adverts referencing the London Olympics.

ASA : What top tips can you give marketers planning ad campaigns around the Olympics on how to avoid breaching LOCOG rules?

LOCOG : Our legal rights are very wide and therefore any Olympic themed campaign is likely to infringe them -- even if it doesn't refer explicitly to the Games. If a business is looking to undertake a marketing campaign which capitalises on the Games we would ask them to consider the ethics of doing so.

To understand the scope of our rights, we would recommend businesses look at the faqs and documents available at

ASA : What are the common pitfalls that non-Olympic-partner advertisers run into?

LOCOG : Some businesses think that if they don't use any of our logos or refer explicitly to the Games, this won't infringe our rights. However, the London Olympics Association Right is drafted widely so that any representation which creates an association between a business or brand with the Games (subject to certain defences) infringes the right.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: Official Olympic Protestors...

Link Here 24th May 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Activists who set themselves up as official Olympics protesters are suspended from Twitter after complaint from London 2012 organisers

See article from



Offsite Article: We'd win gold at the Olympics for enforcing bully-boy rules...

Link Here 16th June 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the rich commercial backers of the Games. Heaven forbid another firm takes a sliver of the limelight intended for Visa or McDonald's.

See article from



Extract: Olympics Gets a Reputation for Miserable Control Freaks...

Hopefully they will be a bit too short staffed to enforce restrictions on linking to their website

Link Here 15th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Our attention has been drawn to the terms of use of the London Olympics 2012 website, which make it very clear under what circumstances you're allowed link to the site:

Links to the Site.

You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted.

Got that? You're only allowed link to the official site of the Olympics if you're going to say nice things about the Olympics.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: Censorship Olympics Article Now Censored...

Link Here 17th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
It beggars belief, but it can now be a criminal offence to use words like Games, Gold and Summer, or even a picture of the London skyline. The reason? An outrageous abuse of our laws to protect the profits of Olympic sponsors...

See article from



Offsite Article: How I was busted by the Olympics Advertisement Enforcement Office...

Link Here 22nd July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
It was only an innocent double entendre about rings of fire. But even multi-award-winning comics can fall foul of Olympic censor. By Stewart Lee

See article from



Offsite Article: Trifling Case of Repression...

Link Here 22nd July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Police arrested actors for spilling custard, say Olympic protesters. Former Games commissioner says 25 officers took performers away in handcuffs at demonstration against sponsorship

See article from



Update: Jobsworths vs Art...

Street art takes collateral damage in the Olympic war against graffiti

Link Here 25th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

For many, London is the number one place in the world for street art. But now as the Olympics approaches, many artists are complaining that artwork is being removed by council jobsworths.

According to street artists, walls which they say have not been touched in years are now being cleaned off ahead of the Olympics.

Authorities say that there has been no official remit for graffiti to be removed - rather, they just clean the walls if someone complains.

But Geoff Whitehouse from Very Nearly Almost , a magazine which documents street art, disagrees:

It's been going on for over a year or more with a general clean-up around Hackney. This is part of a wider issue where councils proclaim to a zero tolerance policy on graffiti as it is vandalism and deemed illegal, yet will also help protect work by Banksy.

Darren Cullen is a professional artist who was arrested last week on suspicion of incitement to commit criminal damage. He said he was questioned over his links to a graffiti website. The artist - who was approached to paint the Athletes' Village - was released by police but has been banned from going anywhere near Olympic venues.

One artist who has had a piece painted over is Mau Mau. His piece, a comment on the Games' alleged corporate and environmental impact, was painted on the side of a privately-owned warehouse which he had permission to paint in Ealing, west London, in July. It lasted six days before it was painted over by the council.

A spokeswoman for Ealing Council said the piece was removed following a complaint:

This is in line with our policy to remove all reported graffiti as soon as possible, unless we have been made aware in advance that it is there with the consent of the building owner and it is not offensive [to Locog or their beloved sponsors presumably]



Update: Olympic Opener Banned from YouTube...

Send James Bond to eliminate world domination seeking villains

Link Here 28th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

NBC and the International Olympic Committee have tried to make this one of the most connected, social and widely available Olympics ever. Or so it seems.

Why, for example, didn't NBC simply run the ceremonies live in the afternoon and then run it again in the evening instead of trying to pretend that the opening ceremony hadn't happened yet? NBC and the IOC's attempt to control the flow of content and information failed almost immediately as participants and audience members started tweeting and Instagramming.

As one memorable moment after another flickered before our eyes, we began to search for and share memorable moments. The Bond video, we found. It was cute watching the Queen play along as an equally dour-faced Daniel Craig gave his best stoic Bond performance as he led the aging monarch to a live appearance at the stadium in London. NBC made sure to squeeze dozens of advertisements into the rerun. Again, we were fine with this. At least the spectacle was good and performances like Atkinson's silly synth player, were viral gold.

Because it had been hours since the live performance, multiple versions of the Atkinson segment appeared on YouTube. None of them, though were official. This seemed odd, but Mashable, like other outlets selected the best one to share. Within minutes the video was gone and replaced by this message:

This video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

Other videos appeared, but soon succumbed to the same fate. It was a digital game of whack-a-mole.



Updated: Police Run Rings Around Protestors...

Muslim Olympics protest called off after police turn up in force

Link Here 29th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

A group of British Islamists had gathered for a protest planned for outside the London Olympic Park on Friday. But they were greeted by a massive show of police force and organizers said police had told them not to go ahead.

The group had intended to denounce what they called the evil of the Games.

Organizer Mizanur Rahman said police had made it clear to him that the protest should not go ahead.

We would have been immediately arrested otherwise.

There's no way for Muslims to voice any of their concerns.

He vowed there would be more efforts to protest during the course of the Games.

Update: Critical Mass

29th July 2012. See  article from

More than 130 cyclists were arrested by police close to the Olympic Stadium on the opening night of the Games.

People taking part in a monthly mass bike ride held in London said they were kettled near the stadium.

The police said cyclists ignored warnings and rode on Games Lanes ahead of the opening ceremony, but they did not respond to the kettling claim.

The Critical Mass ride is a pro-cycling event which takes place in London every month.

The Metropolitan Police said people were arrested under section 12 of the Public Order Act and for causing a public nuisance. The Met said up to 500 cyclists had gathered near Waterloo by 18:00 BST, five times the usual number that attended.

Police believed the demonstration had the potential to cause serious disruption and said officers used loud hailers and leaflets to explain the restrictions.



Update: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Insulting tweets get Swiss footballer sent home

Link Here 31st July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

The Swiss Olympic delegation have sent defender Michel Morganella, 23, home from the Games after he posted the message in the wake of the team's 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.

The star posted the message shortly after the game, saying that South Koreans can go burn and referred to them as a bunch of mongoloids.

Gian Gilli, chef de mission for the Swiss Olympic delegation at the Games, said: Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter.

We condemn his comments, which are in fundamental violation of the IOC's Olympic charter and Swiss Olympic's own ethics charter.



Extract: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

International blocking of BBC radio as Olympic Rules Kick In

Link Here 31st July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

The impact of the commercialisation of the Games, with lucrative sponsorship and rights deals, means another British virtue - freedom of speech - is rather less free than normal for the duration of London 2012. A particularly disturbing example of this is the BBC - which has said that due to rights restrictions various radio programmes, ranging from the prestigious Radio 4 Today news programme to the lighter Radio 2 Chris Evans' Breakfast Show and Radio 5 Live, whether live or on i-Player, may not be available to audiences abroad for the duration of the Games.

While the BBC World Service has a proud history of broadcasting into authoritarian regimes, faced with its lucrative rights deal for UK broadcasting of the Games, the BBC is blocking its own output from being available internationally. It has a helpfully succinct explanation:

The BBC's agreement with the International Olympic Committee means we are not allowed to broadcast anything online outside the UK from the Olympic Park or Olympic venues. As a result this programme may need to be blanked for International listeners due to rights issues surrounding Olympic content in programmes.

Perhaps conscious of quite how ludicrous this is, and damaging to the BBC's own image and values, by Sunday the BBC had apparently carried out some damage-limitation negotiations with the International Olympic Committee so at least the Today programme could be restored to international listeners:

After discussion, the IOC and the BBC have agreed that there is no need to block our international streams of Radio 4 programmes with a wide news agenda. Radio 5 Live (apart from the news programme Up All Night) and 5 Live Olympics Extra will remain available only in the UK.

...Read the full article



Updated: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Journalist suspended from twitter after criticising US TV coverage

Link Here 1st August 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Here are three things that NBC prevented their public from being able to watch on network television so far this Olympic Games: live footage of the opening ceremony; live footage of Saturday's swimming showdown between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte; live footage of the USA men's basketball dream team.

A fourth thing they do not want people to see is the email address of Gary Zenkel, the executive responsible for this shambles. And a fifth thing is my Twitter feed, which over the weekend contained a couple of dozen occasionally uncouth observations about their coverage, several of which were accompanied by the trending hashtag: #NBCfail.

Twitter's guidelines forbid users from publishing what they call private information, including private email addresses . There is plenty of sense in this. But I did not Tweet a private email address. I Tweeted a corporate address for Mr Zenkel, which is widely listed online, and is identical in form to that of tens of thousands of those at NBC.

I was not contacted by NBC or Twitter before my account was suspended.

...Read the full article

Update: Twitter Account Restored

1st August 2012. See  article from by Guy Adams

[Shortly before 6pm London time] I had received an email from Twitter support, announcing that I was no longer verboten in Twitter-land:

Your account was suspended because a complaint was filed stating that you had violated our terms of service, it read. We have just received an updated notice from the complainant retracting the original request. Therefore, your account has been unsuspended, and no further action is required from you at this time.


[Twitter] has yet to properly address growing suspicions that its decision to suspend my account was motivated by a business relationship with NBC. The firms are running a cross-promotion throughout the Olympics. Was that why it chose to ignore its own rules?

Yesterday, the website, which is supposedly dedicated to the democratic flow of conversation, did admit it had actually contacted its corporate partner urging it to complain so that my account could be shut down in the first place. A mea culpa on its blog said last night: We want to apologise for the part of this story we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a tweet that was in violation of the Twitter rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our trust and safety team to report the violation... Our trust and safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other. We do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. [But close enough that's exactly what they just did!].

Extract: So what are Twitter's censorship rules

1st August 2012. See  article from

Twitter's rules, available via its help centre , say:

  • Users must not impersonate others in a manner intended to mislead or deceive others.

  • Tweeters are not allowed to infringe companies' trademarks by either assuming their name or logo as part of their profile. Related Articles

  • Members of the service must not publish other people's private and confidential information -- such as credit card numbers or home address -- without their express permission.

  • People will be permanently suspended from the site if they perpetually send spam or abuse -- which is defined as specific threats of violence against others .

  • And tweeters must not infringe copyright rules, use the site for illegal purposes (adhering to the country's laws from which a person is tweeting) or misuse Twitter verification badges (which denote an account's authenticity with a blue tick).

  • Twitter users must not use obscene or pornographic images in either their profile picture or user background.

...Read the full article


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