Dutch Olympians Told Not to Take Phones, Laptops

For Dutch athletes traveling to Beijing next month for the Winter Olympics, they may have to leave their phones and laptops at home, according to a Dutch newspaper report from Tuesday.

Citing insiders, the paper says Dutch athletes were warned to keep personal devices out of China to avoid Chinese espionage.

The urgent advice was given to athletes as part of a set of measures proposed by the Dutch Olympic Committee. Its spokesperson explained that a risk assessment on the upcoming Beijing trip included cybersecurity concerns.

But given China’s highly-censored internet and surveillance tactics, unique action is needed. Dutch team members will be equipped with unused devices while inside China to protect their personal data from Chinese surveillance.

At least 30 Dutch athletes are set to compete in next month’s Beijing Olympics — mainly in the speed and short track skating events.