national

Returning Japan Olympians to have smartphones undergo security check

30 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
Login to comment

Wise call by the J-govt.

The mind boggles as to the potential bugs, bots and spyware installed in those phones by the CCP.

10 ( +22 / -12 )

Japan is behaving like China and North Korea.

I thought they were better than that.

-30 ( +13 / -43 )

Honestly it seems pretty paranoid, not to mention who will do a security check of their phones after the government is done to make sure Japan just didn't replace it with their own spyware.

Anyway, it seems pretty unlikely a foreign government would want to keep track of an athletes actions outside their country. The only merits I could see would be somebody privy to confidential information, which olympic athletes really aren't, or if they currently reside in your country and you might be interested in tracking their movements. Which again, foreign athletes don't really fall under.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Oh fgs...give it a break with this over the top posturing. China is really after all that super secret info that J Japanese Olympians phones have access to becuase there is no other way for them to access it.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

The JSA said experts will screen the devices with the Beijing Games official app, My2022, installed and will delete suspicious apps if necessary, all with the permission of the phone's owner.

I would bet that any NSA installed surveillance apps would not be so blatantly obvious and beyond the abilities of the JSA to track.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why not just destroy their phone and issue new ones. Or give them phones EG Para-Olympics offices before they flew out. I Assume bean counters opposed giving out phones until someone realised the dangers. Better late then ever tightssses.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Send the phones to Senkaku :-)

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

A compulsory second and temporary handset would be the right option, but so…lol Of course the hotel room’s TV set, coffee maker or whatever device has already copied and withdrawn all data and access parameters, whatever and whenever you delete or avoid now afterwards. If there’s a phobia then at least also act accordingly, otherwise let it just be. The finest solution is of course providing them any faked or phantasy data or a reverse network virus. But OK, we also shouldn’t expect too much expertise in this field when there simply can’t be one.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Better delete the nudes!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Smart move! A little too late. They should brought burner phones for the Olympics. They still could have devices already in their rooms by CCP to apply man-in-the middle attacks. Not to mention, all the tiny cameras and microphones probably located throughout the rooms. If you see some Olympic/athlete voyeurism videos online or if the Olympic athletes begin to act strange after returning home then they were probably compromised and being blackmailed by the CCP.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Ah, the modern world’s “Trojan Horse”es. Japan thinking if one type of virus didn’t get us the first try, another one type may?

Fooled us once, not gonna fool us twice.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Or, in the words of Pete Townsend & The Who: “Won’t Get Fooled Again

(The W.H.O. is another story.)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Only a few countries have Israeli Pegasus. China and Russia definitely don’t. Only American approved countries have this capacity.

I think young snowboarders and ski jumpers don’t have access to sensitive national security information. They are hipsters.

Sounds like invasion of privacy or propaganda.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I do not hope that china is using the Olympic games as away to spy on people.

China has said that the Olympic games is about sport and not about politics or other matters.

Anyway what will be done by other electronic devices such as PCs, tablets, USB drives or other storage devices or is the focus really on the app?

It is like the cold war again. This was already not a nice period and also a lot of paranoid.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Its no surprise, because if someone asks "What is the Japanese government doing to make sure the Chinese haven't installed spyware, etc in the returning athletes phones?" Well, the government has to have an answer other than "nothing".

That is why Japan will forever be the most paranoid country in terms of public safety.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My old company has many staff in China for periods of time and they all take laptops. The viruses and spyware found on returning laptops was astounding to the point that all were immediately wiped and re-imaged upon return as standard practice. Phones would have the same issue which is why athletes were advised to take burner phones that can be disposed of upon return.

All devises in China are basically bugged, not for "secret technology" but to ensure compliance and to track dissent and banned topics like tiananmen square etc. they have a large database of words and phrases that draw attention to a user most done via monitoring programs that show up like viruses. One reason the US and West do not want to use Chinese telecommunications tech and software. They dont trust it and it is easy to see why.

Having said that, the US and Russia and many other states and companies do exactly the same thing but with more sophisticated software.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Remove the Chinese spyware and install the Japan / American ones !

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I think this will be a thing going forward. I can see different manufacturers lining up to make sponsorship deals and providing team phones. Timed right, you could make a little profit off it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe/Kishi whipping up anti-Chinese hysteria again.

Actually Japan knows all about these trackers as they had me install two of their own when I came back to Japan last year. Random video calls would come to snoop on me, very annoying.

Was going to smash the phone with a hammer but decided it was a lot cheaper to just delete them with Playstore. Lol.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I spoke to soon.

Japanese Paralympians will be provided phones for their campaigns in Beijing. 66 member delegation of 25 athletes. It’s not a sponsorship deal, but that is only a matter of time.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220209_22/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know if I'd have the Japanese authorities or a tech company here do it. They'd like take the phones and plug them into the defense mainframe to "check them for spyware".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Give back those toys and check all phones the Chinese can’t be trusted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Classic 1950s paranoia.

Haven't Chinese business folk travelling to Japan been forced to stick a Japanese Covid/tracker app on their phones for the duration of their stay? Has the CCP been checking their phones on their return?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Will have their phones checked with their permission.

What if they refuse ?

If Jgov was really being cautious the phones should mandatory to be discarded at the airport in China.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The app the Chinese are requiring on Olympic participants phones, MY2022, has a censorship feature that blocks certain content. This feature can prevent the user from reading anything containing a list of over 2200 banned words, effectively censoring the content of anything the phone's owner subsequently tries to access even outside of China. It also has security flaws that are built in to allow Chinese state security to access your phone remotely.

https://thediplomat.com/2022/01/chinas-espionage-plans-for-the-2022-winter-olympics-what-athletes-should-expect/

China is not shy about using their diplomats to harass regime opponents abroad. Here is one example of the Chinese harassing people in the US who express opposition to the CCP.

https://www.propublica.org/article/even-on-us-campuses-china-cracks-down-on-students-who-speak-out

Here is another example:

https://abc11.com/china-agents-of-stalking-harassment/7425450/

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here is another example of how China abuses foreigners and why you cannot trust them:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/chinese-diplomats-encourage-harassment-of-pro-democracy-students-abroad-as-hong-kong-protests-spread

Now imagine they have their spywear on your phone and can see what you are doing, who you are communicating with, listen to your calls, read your texts, watch your Zoom meetings, view any photos or videos you take and then censor your phone.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Does Olympic athlete holding any state secrets? Obviously Japan is paranoid and,lacking a mere confidence to herself! Japan's IT is far behind China these days!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Does Olympic athlete holding any state secrets? 

That isn't the point of this app. China is trying to control information to the phone owner through the censorship feature while reading their texts and listening to their phone conversations using automated key word searching to find those who say things against the CCP and then harass them wherever they are. The Soviets used to record telephone traffic in the US using spies sitting in vans near microwave towers or from ships off the coasts and send these recordings back to Moscow for analysis using key word searches to identify interesting conversations. This is where the key word search originated. Now the Chinese are going to use your phone (and computer at home) to send the conversations directly to Beijing for analysis. No more van parked by a microwave tower or expensive to operate spy ships disguised as fishing trawlers sailing slowly in circles just off the coast.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Smart.

It is possible for the cell towers to push driver updates to phones. Those drivers run in ring-0 - total device ownership.

Our company policy is to provide loaner phones and computers for any travel for just these reasons.

Last time I was in China, I took an off-brand tablet made in Europe running an odd OS, not available on any other platform. No computer. No phone. When I arrived, I picked up a cheap local flip phone for about $20. This was recommended by the company security policy. Most of the time, I just used the tablet with a VPN and VoIP application to phone home.

Most people don't understand that phones are "personal tracking devices" in every sense of that word. The microphones and/or cameras can be enabled remotely. I think the only protection is a Faraday pouch. Even airplane-mode can be bypassed. High profile people are much more likely to be targeted, but with computers controlling what gets gathered, it is just as easy to gather everything from everyone, hidden inside encrypted HTTPS traffic going through proxy systems in other countries first to throw off the trail.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you're going to be stupid enough to bring your actual daily-use devices into China, you can only look forward to having all of your information stolen by the CCP.

Be smart - buy a cheap disposable phone to use when you're there. Don't ever use it anywhere other than China. Wall yourself off.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites