The sports committees of both countries fear “for surveillance” by China .
The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have asked their athletes attending the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics not to bring their cell phones and laptops to China due to “suspicions of espionage.”
On the Netherlands side, the De Volkskrant outlet points out that the athletes classified for Beijing 2022 “will be equipped with unused devices, to protect their personal data from surveillance.” They consider that “cybersecurity is part of the risk assessment carried out for the trip to China.”
On the UK side, the recommendation is similar.
According to The Telegraph , the British Olympic Association (BOA) will give athletes devices so they can stay connected. None will be new or personal.
The devices will be destroyed when they return from the event. This as a strategy to prevent the monitoring of their activities.
“The importance of cybersecurity has grown over the years. But China has shut down its internet, which makes this case specific,” one official told Reuters.
As The Mirror explains , in the past the British Olympic Committee has offered smartphones and computers to those who need them, but more as a help than as an alternative.