Netherlands bans cell phones and lap tops at Beijing-2022 for fear of hackers

Delegation of the Netherlands parades at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang-2018 Games (Reproduction/CNN)

the delegation of Holland who will participate in the Winter Olympics Beijing-2022, as of February 4, received an unusual orientation from the country’s Olympic committee. The approximately 30 athletes, as well as coaches and other employees who will travel to China, were advised to leave cell phones and laptops at home. The reason would be a fear of being spying on the cyber attack during the Games. The information is from the Dutch newspaper “Volkskrant”.

It’s almost surreal, in an era where everyone is virtually connected online 24/7, to suggest someone stay away from their cell phone to avoid having their data stolen by a hacker. Even more so in an event like the Beijing-222 Games. In any case, Dutch officials believe the recommendation is valid.

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“The importance of cybersecurity has grown immensely over the last few years, that is indisputable. The problem is that China has completely shut down its internet, which makes this case even more specific,” said Geert Slot, spokesman for the Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF).

China is heavily criticized by entities that defend human rights for not respecting individual freedoms. In addition, the country exerts strong internet censorship, blocking access to sites such as YouTube and Google. In 2019, for example, the Chinese government promoted more than 60 online restrictions, removing content it deems illegal.

But does this mean that the Dutch who compete in Beijing-2022 will be deprived of sharing their special moments at the Games on their social networks? No, calm down there! Both athletes and the other members of the Dutch delegation will receive rented devices to surf smoothly and thus protect their personal data from possible hackers during their stay in China.

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