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State Department


US Olympic tourists warned about monitoring in hotels

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Mar 24, 2008

WASHINGTON — Americans traveling to China for the Olympic Games in August can expect their hotel rooms there to be monitored, the State Department warned on its website.

"All visitors should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations," according to the State Department site.

"All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times. Hotel rooms, residences and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant's consent or knowledge," it said.

It added that many hotels and apartment buildings may be poorly built, lack emergency exits, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide monitors and basic security like locks, alarms, and personnel.

It also said that the threat of terrorism appeared to be minimal, but urged caution nonetheless.

"The threat level for terrorism against Americans in China remains low. However, any large-scale public event like the upcoming Olympic Games could become the focus of terrorist acts or other forms of violence," it said.

"There is no reason to believe that US citizens are being targeted at this time," it said.

It also said crime rates were relatively low, with major metropolitan areas safer than similar sized cities in other developing countries.

But "while the overall crime threat is low, the number of criminal incidents, including those directed against Americans, continues to rise," it added.

The Olympic Summer Games will take place from August 8-24, followed by the Beijing Paralympic Summer Games 2008 from September 6-17.

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US Olympic tourists warned about monitoring in hotels
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