Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning Olympic athletes to leave their computers and cellphones at home because Chinese authorities will spy on them and hack into their devices while they compete at the Summer Games in Beijing.
Pompeo took to his Twitter account to deliver a warning about the “nastiest surveillance state in history” that the Chinese government has created.
“Olympic athletes must understand the risk in Beijing. The CCP has built the nastiest surveillance state in history & will monitor everything athletes say & do. Our athletes should leave their phones & laptops at home – like I & my team did – & like the Dutch have been told to do,” Pompeo tweeted on Wednesday.
Olympic athletes must understand the risk in Beijing. The CCP has built the nastiest surveillance state in history & will monitor everything athletes say & do. Our athletes should leave their phones & laptops at home – like I & my team did – & like the Dutch have been told to do.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 12, 2022
Some athletes who have records as activists for various causes should be on high alert as they prepare to compete in the oppressive mass surveillance state.
For instance, U.S. snowboard champion Shaun White should be on alert that he will be targeted immediately upon entering China. White recently posted a photo of himself holding a Tibetan independence flag.
Sonamtso, former SFT Campaigns Director, had the opportunity to meet @shaunwhite. The first thing she told him is how much this flag means to her. In Tibet, if she walked up to an Olympic athlete with the Tibetan flag, she could be jailed indefinitely, tortured, and even killed. pic.twitter.com/DGYtBHQdxZ
— Students for a Free Tibet (@SFTHQ) January 8, 2022
The photo came as part of a campaign to highlight China’s oppression of Tibet.
Students for a Free Tibet gave copies of a letter asking for a meeting on China’s human rights abuses to White and other aspiring Olympians at the final trials, including freestyle skier Hanna Faulhaber and freestyle skiing medalists David Wise and Brita Sigourney.
U.S. figure skater Timothy LeDuc, who is set to compete in Beijing as the first non-binary Winter Olympics athlete, could easily be targeted after accusing China of “horrifying human rights abuses.”
For these criticisms, “crimes” under Chinese law, Pompeo believes the communist country could target U.S. athletes.
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