With the rising fear of terrorist attacks, random shootings, theft and just crime in general, the committee responsible with organizing the London Olympics games has taken some harsh decisions.
To be fair, some of them make sense, and it isn't as though people absolutely depend on wireless Internet when going to attend the sports event.
Still, the forbidding of Wi-Fi hotspots did strike people as a bit odd. Even smartphone owners are denied the permission to use their phones in such a role. Here's to wondering how LOCOG will check for and punish the breaking of this rule.
The entry on the London 2012 Prohibited Items (PDF)
is for "personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs." Android phones, iPhones and tablets are, thus, permitted.
That doesn't mean even stranger restrictions won't be in place though. One of our favorites is that no one is allowed to bring hard-sided bags, like briefcases. The one against large hats is a close second.
Then there is the lack of permission for tripods (not so peculiar) and for water/juice bottles or containers with other sorts of liquid that exceed 100 ml (truly strange, since hazardous fluids don't really need to be available in large quantities to be dangerous).
The reasons for all these things haven't been perfectly explained, but the one behind the Wi-Fi hotspot rule might be easier to uncover than the others.
LOCOG, the London Olympics organizing committee, has a deal with sponsor BT, the "official communications services partner."
BT has 1,500 paid hotspots at Olympic sites, with prices starting from £5.99 ($9.28 / 7.64 Euro) for 90 minutes use.
The morality of protecting a sponsor's interest by denying attendees the right to use products they own and have paid for is debatable, but we suppose house rules are house rules. All we can do is take solace in the fact that, while busy making this list of oddities, LOCOG did not forget to ban firearms, knives, narcotics and spray paints.