July 3, 2003
Fearing a possible terrorist attack, the International Olympic Committee is working with the IT arm of Schlumberger Ltd. to provide state-of-the-art security systems for the 2004 summer games in Athens.
Schlumberger will provide the more than 200,000 games participants and officials with electronic security badges, information from which is sent from card readers to a master database that will allow IOC officials to track badge holders, from venue to venue. On Wednesday, Schlumberger said it has successfully implemented a large part of the system. The Schlumberger Games Management System will also ensure that games participants meet local immigration requirements and will facilitate security checks by law-enforcement agencies. Schlumberger's contract with the IOC is the world's largest sports-related IT contract, extending from last year's winter games in Salt Lake City to the Beijing games in 2008. Other vendors are also helping the IOC ensure security at the games, and members of the media will not escape the scrutiny. JVC is wiring the main press center with 11 video cameras that will provide security officials with a 360-degree view of scribes' activities in the center. All told, the Greek government has set aside $600 million for security and the hiring of 45,000 uniformed security personnel to patrol the games, which a recent Washington Post column called "the most heavily protected and perhaps most uneasily watched in Olympic history."
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