China To Spy On Hotel Guests’ Internet Activity During Olympics

    July 30, 2008

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback is criticizing the Chinese government for its plans to spy on hotel guests’ Internet activity during the Olympics.

China is forcing foreign-owned hotels to install monitoring equipment on their network to allow the Chinese Public Security Bureau to access electronic information of people staying in these hotels.

"The Chinese government has put in place a system to spy on and gather information about every guest at hotels where Olympic visitors are staying," the Republican senator said. "This means journalists, athletes’ families and other visitors will be subjected to invasive intelligence gathering by the Chinese Public Security Bureau."

The Chinese government has demanded that foreign owned hotels allow the PSB to install software and hardware to aid the group in its efforts to spy on the Internet activities of guests and collect records of their online activity.

A number of international hotel chains have confirmed China’s demand to monitor guests Internet activity. Brownback has received a copy of the order translated from Chinese. The text refers to harsh punishment for failure to comply with the order.

"The hotels have asked us to preserve their anonymity; in order to protect their safety, and in return for their courage in coming forward, I cannot divulge their identities," said Brownback.

"These hotel chains have invested millions of dollars in their Chinese properties, and while they wish to find a way to reverse this order, if they are specifically identified, they could face severe retaliation by the Communist government."