2022 Kyodo News

“Don’t take your personal laptop to China”

The Belgian Interfederal Olympic Committee has recommended that all Belgian athletes travelling to the Beijing Olympics leave personal laptops and smartphones at home. The BOIC’s Mathias Van Baelen says the organisation if preferring to play safe.  The Dutch Olympic team is receiving similar advice.

The Winter Olympics start on 4 February.  Sporting achievements will steal most of the limelight though the pandemic and the political situation in the PRC cannot be ignored.

Several national Olympic organisations are worried athletes could be a target for espionage. 

“We are aware of certain risks regarding cybersecurity, as is the case on all foreign trips” says Van Baelen.  “We’ve done a risk analysis and consulted with the foreign ministry and the Belgian embassy in Beijing. Our conclusion is that there is a need for caution.  We’re not banning anything, but we want athletes to be aware of the risks. We prefer to play safe and follow the advice”.

As usual telephones and SIM-cards will be available for officials and athletes to allow them to communicate among themselves and not to require their personal equipment.

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