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The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will present new security challenges for visitors and the host nation as China attempts to showcase its power amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Cybersecurity fears are at the forefront for those attending the games. Athletes participating are required to use the “My 2022” app to monitor their health before and during the Olympics. On Monday, the FBI released a statement urging people to leave their personal cellphone at home and to be wary of any applications that are required by the Chinese government.
“The download and use of applications, including those required to participate or stay in [the] country, could increase the opportunity for cyber actors to steal personal information or install tracking tools, malicious code, or malware,” the FBI said. China has long used technology to surveil its own citizens and has recently increased its scrutiny of foreigners.
Another threat to this year’s games is the ongoing risk of COVID-19. China has attempted to keep its case count down by implementing mass testing and forced quarantines, in some cases cutting off areas of the city where infections have sprouted. For athletes, spectators, and members of the media, this means entering the “Closed Loop” for the duration of the games. People entering the bubble will need to be fully vaccinated or quarantined for 21 days. Testing will take place daily and masks will be required. Volunteers and workers will also be separated from the general population. They won’t be allowed to go home and will need to be in the Closed Loop.
These are the second games to take place since the start of the pandemic. Last year, the Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo, a year after it was canceled. Security in Beijing will be tighter, and these photos show what that will look like.