About 85 Olympic athletes in Norway and their support staff are advised to clean their smartphones and computers before taking them to Beijing. The Dutch Olympic team has received strict instructions to leave their digital devices at home.
– It’s not an order. Everyone is allowed to assess their own risks. But one unequivocal advice not to do so, Olympiatoppen communications director Halvor Lea answers questions about whether the Norwegian Olympic team has received the same stern data message as the Dutch.
The clear and explicit advice to members of the Norwegian Olympic team is not to bring mobile phones and computers with “normal” content, but to remove this to prevent unwanted access to the computer networks connected to them.
according to inside games The Dutch Olympic Committee has banned all private athletes, coaches and managers from bringing their smartphones and personal computers to the Winter Games in China from February 4-20. The reason is the fear that those in China will be exposed to the so-called piracy. This means that they can be the subject of “burglary”, and that private and sensitive data material can be extracted – and misused.
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Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reports that all people on the Dutch Olympic team will have their personal digital devices replaced with new smartphones and computers from the Dutch Olympic Committee. It will be destroyed upon its return to Holland.
According to Halvor Lea, Olympiatopen, the Norwegian Sports Federation’s largest sports body, will not take drastic action. On a recommendation from the Norwegian Sports Federation’s IT department, computers will be “emptied” for use in China prior to departure and “prepared” using an office solution associated with the Olympics – called Team Norway – as Olympiatoppen’s communications director explains.
After they return home, they will be “washed” again.
Everyone on the Olympic team will be recommending a VPN (Virtual Private Network) solution for their mobile phones and computers.
– Enough, says Halvor Leah.
Kjell Ron Nordley is the Digital Business Leader at the Norwegian Sports Federation. It was he who gave the Olympic summit in the first place the advice that the Olympic team should follow. Nordley says that NIF’s IT experts, for their part, have been associated with the National Security Agency’s Travel Board, as well as the Police Security Service (PST).
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We have our own safety equipment, and we know China is a demanding sight when it comes to monitoring, says Kel Ron Nordley of the Norwegian Sports Federation.
When asked whether China is considered a higher-risk country than others in terms of computer security, he replied that he had no basis for saying that it was worse than anywhere else.
It is difficult for me to rank China against other countries. We leave that to the PST and the NSM (National Security Authority). In general, one should always be careful. For us, the job is of a protective nature. He says we are choosing to be careful and take care.
Halvor Leah says all special esports chiefs have received the necessary information about recommendations and actions, and Kjell says Ron Nordley that everyone in the final Olympic squad (last withdrawal on January 18) will receive public information about data security in connection with their stay in China.
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