[WSMDiscuss] Urgent Statement: Withdraw GPS and other forms of surveillance by IOC/JOC in Tokyo Olympics

Toshimaru Ogura ogr at nsknet.or.jp
Mon Jun 14 09:23:03 CEST 2021

Hello. I am posting from Japan. This is my first post to this
mailing list in several years.A Japanese citizens' group has
issued the following urgent statement. Please circulate it to as
many people as possible. We are looking for organizations to
support it.

>From Japan
a member of The Citizens Liaison Committee Against Wiretapping Law

Urgent Statement: Withdraw GPS and other forms of surveillance by
IOC/JOC in Tokyo Olympics

At a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Executive Board on April 9, Seiko Hashimoto, President of the
Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games,
stated clearly that if the Olympic and Paralympic Games are held,
media representatives will be designated places to stay and
monitored by GPS and other means. Toshiro Muto, Secretary-General
of Japan, said that the restrictions and surveillance would be
applied “We’re not going to be tracking every single movement”
and that the surveillance would be applied to “all” people
traveling from abroad.

We oppose the use of GPS and other means to monitor or restrict
behavior for any reason. We call for the withdrawal of the GPS
surveillance measures.

Critical Media Excluded by 14 Days of Surveillance

This surveillance will last for 14 days. We are deeply suspicious
of why the Organizing Committee took the action of behavioral
surveillance when there are other effective means that do not
infringe on freedom of the press. To reduce the risk of infection,
prior vaccination and thorough PCR testing are enough. We don’t
see the need for behavioral surveillance.Moreover, this kind of
behavioral surveillance is forced only on the foreign media. There
is no GPS monitoring of domestic media personnel, and neither
vaccination nor PCR testing is being thoroughly conducted.  This
is clearly a biased response to the media.

Much of the critical coverage, including the claims of the
cancellation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, has come from
foreign media. Most of the active coverage of the anti-Olympic
movement has also come from foreign media. It will be difficult
for foreign media to cover the opposition movement if they are
monitored by GPS and only allowed to cover places where they have
registered in advance. Our right of access to the media will also
be greatly restricted. This is a clear violation of freedom of the

Everyone is a journalist and a media outlet.

At this year’s Pulitzer Prize, a citizen who is not a
professional journalist won a special award for the first time. In
the age of the Internet, all of us have become media
outlets. According to the rules of the organizing committee,
freelance journalists, bloggers who use the Internet as their base
of transmission, and media of social and civic movements are not
allowed to stay at the homes of their friends and acquaintances,
and if restrictions on their activities are implemented for 14
days, they will literally be unable to cover the event
properly. They may even have to give up their visit to Japan
itself. It is the critical coverage of the Olympics by these
people that has supported the foundation of press freedom. It is
obvious that they will be the first to be subjected to this
surveillance.  Furthermore, Article 21 of the Constitution states;
“Freedom of speech, publication and all other forms of expression
shall be guaranteed. Censorship shall not be practiced. The
secrecy of communications shall not be violated.”

GPS as privacy information

GPS is privacy information. The actual status of its management
and sharing is unclear.  In addition, the Organizing Committee
obtains GPS and other location information in a form that can
identify the individual. GPS information that can identify a
person is privacy information. Location information is also
information closely related to freedom of the press, and requires
the consent of the individual.  In this case, it is not
“consent”.This is a clear form of coercion, because the
interview cannot be conducted unless this condition is
accepted. Moreover, it is not at all clear how the acquired
location information will be managed. It is also not clear what
technical measures will be taken to block the use of the
information for other purposes, such as the technical risk of
sharing it with investigative and intelligence agencies. We should
not forget that there are the countries that the Japanese
government treats as de facto enemy states.

There is a risk that this will become a precedent.

In the future, even in the post-Corona era, such monitoring and
regulation of foreign media may continue in various forms, and
there is a possibility that it will spread to domestic media as
well. In light of the fact that not only the traditional mass
media but also a variety of citizen media have emerged, the
monitoring of the media is also a monitoring of each and every one
of us who use the Internet to transmit information.  In this
sense, surveillance by GPS is absolutely unacceptable.

There are other concerns about media surveillance.

A media center will be set up for the Olympics.The media, which
will be under surveillance for their activities, will have to use
a limited number of places, such as the media center and
pre-designated accommodation facilities, as places to receive and
transmit information. The government is stepping up surveillance
of communications under the pretext of the threat of
cyber-terrorism at the Olympics. It has not been confirmed that
the secrecy of communications from these locations is technically
guaranteed. We have to consider that there is a possibility that
communications from media centers and lodgings may well come under
surveillance. Freedom of movement of the media is an essential
condition to avoid such surveillance and to ensure the secrecy of

The Olympics has become an event for the socialization of
surveillance. Cancellation is the best option.

Finally, looking at the overall trends of the Organizing
Committee, the national government, local governments, and
industry surrounding the Olympics, it has become a testing ground
for various surveillance technologies, such as the introduction of
face recognition surveillance cameras, the construction of a mass
surveillance infrastructure using big data and AI, as well as
surveillance using GPS and other technologies.  In consideration
of these factors, we have to question the very concept of holding
the Olympics. Finally, we would like to emphasize that the best
option is to cancel the Olympics and stop the development and
introduction of all surveillance technologies.

June 13, 2021
Citizens Liaison Committee Against Wiretapping Law

We are inviting organizations to support this statement. Please
send an email to the following address with the name of your
organization. The list of supporting organizations will be
announced later.

hantocho-shiminren at tuta.io

The Citizens Liaison Committee Against Wiretapping Law was born
out of the movement against the Interception of Communications
Act, which was passed in 2000. For the past 20 years, the group
has been campaigning against the development of a surveillance
society. In March this year, the group issued a statement against
the digital surveillance bill. The website is as follows


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