Russian government admits spying on showers

by Flilp Bondy - NY Daily News

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak (right) blurted out Thursday that surveillance video is being taken of tourists in Sochi hotel showers. He also told gay visitors: 'Don’t touch the kids.'


SOCHI, Russia — Where’s the Iron Curtain when you need one?

On the same day the Russian deputy prime minister told gays coming to the Winter Olympics not to touch children, he divulged that cameras are keeping an eye on Olympic tourists while they’re in the shower.

The blunder happened when Dmitry Kozak was asked about conditions in hotels and the lack of water, the subjects of ongoing media criticism.

Kozak suddenly became defensive and blurted: “We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day.”

The admission was the latest misstep in Russia’s hosting of the 2014 Winter Games at the palm-tree-lined resort on the Black Sea.

With all the water-related problems in Sochi, it's surprising anyone is willing to take a shower — and for those that brave it, Big Mother is watching.

With all the water-related problems in Sochi, it's surprising anyone is willing to take a shower — and for those that brave it, Big Mother is watching.

The Sochi Games appear to have locked up the gold medal for blunders — even before Friday’s opening ceremonies.

The shower spying — reminiscent of an infamous scene from the raunchy comedy “Porky’s” — had not been reported publicly before the flustered Kozak volunteered the stunning information.

Russian officials quickly shut down a potential deluge of followup questions on the peeping policy by hurrying Kozak away from the podium.

There has been evidence in Sochi of Internet surveillance aimed at news media, but never before of visual surveillance inside hotel rooms.

Blunders have been plaguing the Olympics in Sochi, Russia as the games get underway.

And it wasn’t Kozak’s only jaw-dropping remark during the the news conference. Moments before, he gave the impression he believes gays may have pedophilic leanings, going a step further even than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We are all grownups and any adult has the right to understand their sexual act,” Kozak said. “Please don’t touch the kids, that’s the only thing.”

Putin had said earlier that gays should “leave the children alone.”

The athletes’ Olympic village has been beset by problems, including uncovered manhole covers on walkways, half-finished hotels and ramshackle rooms that are missing items like lightbulbs, chairs, tables and even doorknobs.

Critics have said that some rooms don’t have water, and when the faucets do work, yellow-tinted water flows out.

Then there’s the problem with the bathrooms. Guests are confronted with this advice: “Please do not flush toilet paper down the toilet! Put it in the bin provided.” They’re also warned not to go fishing in the commodes. Other tweets have shown the infamous double-toilet bathrooms installed in some locations.

Beside the chronic infrastructure problems, the $51 billion Games are opening under the cloud of terrorism with Chechen rebels threatening violence as they attempt to establish an Islamic republic 250 miles from Sochi.

The Department of Homeland Security Thursday temporarily banned all carry-on liquids, gels, aerosols and powders on flights from the U.S. to Russia, a day after warning carriers about explosives smuggled in toothpaste tubes or cosmetic containers.

Still, Secretary of State Kerry tried to reassure people planning on attending the Olympics that security is on high alert.

“We have to be, all of us, vigilant and attentive as a result of that,” Kerry told NBC News. “But as I said, if an American wants to go, including my daughter, I’d say go.”

Even the event venues are now coming under fire.

And they thought these Sochi double-toilet stalls were odd.



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