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17 Dec, 2021 17:47

US lawmakers claim risk of surveillance from digital yuan use at 2022 Olympics

US lawmakers claim risk of surveillance from digital yuan use at 2022 Olympics

A group of Republican members of Congress has urged American Olympic athletes to steer clear of using China’s digital yuan while in Beijing for the Games, suggesting it will lead to increased surveillance, Breitbart revealed.

China is the primary adversary of the United States with a long track record of surveilling American citizens,” Representative Lance Gooden (R-Texas) told Breitbart in a statement on Thursday, urging the US Olympic Committee to “take every precaution to protect the privacy of American athletes from the communist Chinese government.”

Amid recent news that the Internal Revenue Service would be horning in on bank transactions worth just $600, some have suggested America already surveils its own people financially. Still, Gooden focused on China, declaring that because the digital yuan is “entirely controlled by the [People’s Bank of China] and can be tracked and traced by the central bank,” its use in global commerce has “many problematic privacy implications.

In addition to Gooden, Reps Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Jake Ellzey (R-Texas), and Lisa McClain (R-Michigan) have signed on to the initiative, noting that the expansion of the digital yuan is of particular concern due to the “use of new and emerging technologies to suppress the Uyghur minority, the people of Hong Kong, and those across China who strive for freedom of expression.”

Digital payment platforms such as WeChat are already being used to surveil, threaten, and arrest Chinese citizens.

The letter follows an earlier one sent by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming). Writing to the Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPAC), the trio demanded it work alongside the State Department, Treasury Department, and Department of Commerce to “protect the privacy of American athletes from the Chinese Communist Government.”

Meanwhile, China plans to loosen its censorship of Western social media platforms for accredited athletes during the Games and even provide them with special SIM cards. Beijing typically blocks access to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.