Team USA warns Olympic athletes about Chinese surveillance concerns at Beijing Games


In an effort to thwart potential Chinese language surveillance, Team USA and several other different nationwide Olympic squads are advising athletes to go away private cellular units at house in favor of ‘burner’ telephones on the 2022 Winter Video games in Beijing.

‘Like computer systems, the info and purposes on cell telephones are topic to malicious intrusion, an infection and information compromise,’ explains a expertise bulletin distributed by Group USA. 

The advisory means that athletes, coaches and trainers use rental or disposable digital units whereas in Beijing, or a minimum of wipe all private information earlier than and through the journey. Digital personal networks, which might scale back dangers to customers, are additionally advisable.

‘Regardless of any and all safeguards which might be put in place to guard the methods and information which might be dropped at China, it must be assumed that every one information and communications in China might be monitored, compromised or blocked,’ the bulletin states.

A woman takes photos with her mobile phone of a figure skating sculpture erected for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, at the Shougang Industrial Park, which will be used as a venue for hosting sport and other events during Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

A lady takes pictures along with her cell phone of a determine skating sculpture erected for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, on the Shougang Industrial Park, which shall be used as a venue for internet hosting sport and different occasions throughout Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Mia Kilburg-Manganello competes in the Women's Mass Start event during the 2022 US  Speedskating Long Track Olympic Trials at Pettit National Ice Center on January 9

Mia Kilburg-Manganello competes within the Girls’s Mass Begin occasion through the 2022 US  Speedskating Lengthy Observe Olympic Trials at Pettit Nationwide Ice Middle on January 9

Jon Mason, a spokesperson for the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, instructed USA Today that the group has labored with the person nationwide governing our bodies for every sport to find out the perfect technique for the Winter Video games, which start February 4.

Video games organizers are combating the notion that athletes’ information is unsafe in Beijing. However as a substitute of promising to not accumulate private information, the committee merely mentioned the data wouldn’t be misused.

‘The Chinese language authorities attaches nice significance to the safety of non-public data,’ learn a press release from the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.

‘Private data collected by Beijing 2022 is not going to be disclosed except the disclosure is critical,’ the organizing committee mentioned. ‘Info of accredited media representatives will solely be used for functions associated to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Video games.’

Anna Hoffman of the United States and Logan Sankey of the United States wave to a camera after finishing in first and second place in the ski jumping competition at the U.S. Nordic Combined & Ski Jump Olympic Trials on December 25, 2021 in Lake Placid, New York

Anna Hoffman of the USA and Logan Sankey of the USA wave to a digital camera after ending in first and second place within the ski leaping competitors on the U.S. Nordic Mixed & Ski Bounce Olympic Trials on December 25, 2021 in Lake Placid, New York

People take selfies in front of an installation of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics mascot Bing Dwen Dwen and Winter Paralympics Shuey Rhon Rhon in Beichen Road on January 12

Individuals take selfies in entrance of an set up of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics mascot Bing Dwen Dwen and Winter Paralympics Shuey Rhon Rhon in Beichen Highway on January 12

Regardless of the organizing committee’s try to assuage fears, different nationwide Olympic groups are additionally advising athletes to go away private telephones at house.

For example, Dutch authorities got here proper out and mentioned they’re ‘anticipating Chinese language surveillance through the Video games.’

In the meantime the Canadian Olympic Committee was extra diplomatic in its warning to athletes, saying the Beijing Video games ‘current a novel alternative for cybercrime.’

‘[It is] advisable that [athletes] be further diligent at Video games, together with contemplating leaving private units at house, limiting private data saved on units dropped at the Video games, and to apply good cyber-hygiene always.’

Spokespeople for the Australian and British Olympic Committees instructed USA Right this moment that they issued comparable warnings.

Whereas the warnings could also be new for athletes, they’re commonplace within the US State Division.

‘Lodge rooms (together with assembly rooms), workplaces, vehicles, taxis, telephones, Web utilization, digital funds, and fax machines could also be monitored onsite or remotely, and private possessions in lodge rooms, together with computer systems, could also be searched with out your consent or data,’ reads one State Division advisory.

Taylor Fletcher and Jared Schumate, both of the United States, ski in the 10km skate portion of the Nordic Combined competition at the U.S. Nordic Combined & Ski Jump Olympic Trials

Taylor Fletcher and Jared Schumate, each of the USA, ski within the 10km skate portion of the Nordic Mixed competitors on the U.S. Nordic Mixed & Ski Bounce Olympic Trials



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