China and INTERPOL launch secure video hotline for Olympics

7 August 2008

BEIJING, China – Security measures at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China are to further benefit from the provision of a dedicated and encrypted video hotline between law enforcement authorities in Beijing and INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon, France, to allow direct contact between senior officials at both ends in case of emergencies or other urgent operational issues during the Olympics.

With the opening of the Games imminent, the direct video and telephone hotline connection – the first in INTERPOL’s history for such an event – has been tested and is now fully operational. It will allow the direct, real time visual exchange of very sensitive information primarily between the office of the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Public Security of China, Mr LIU Jing – one of the top security officials for the Beijing Olympic Games – and INTERPOL headquarters.

'The INTERPOL Olympics video hotline will ensure that senior officials at both ends can communicate face-to-face should serious matters arise and that these can be addressed and resolved swiftly to ensure the security of the Olympic Games,' said Mr XUE Dongzheng, Deputy Director General of the International Co-operation Department at the Ministry of Public Security of China.

Security assistance already provided by INTERPOL to Chinese law enforcement authorities includes the deployment of an INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST) to provide immediate on-site technical and operational assistance. INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble will himself be in Beijing as the Games get under way.

Via INTERPOL’s secure I-24/7 police communications system, the INTERPOL team will not only have instant, direct access to INTERPOL’s full array of databases but will also be able to communicate to Chinese authorities urgent messages from all of INTERPOL’s 186 member countries and vital data such as fingerprints, images and wanted persons notices.

Chinese law enforcement authorities will in turn be able to query via INTERPOL's team at the International Policing Liaison Centre (IPLC) in Beijing all of INTERPOL’s databases, including its lost or stolen travel documents database (SLTD) which contains more than 14 million entries. They will also have direct access to the INTERPOL Batch Search Web Service (IBSWS) – commonly known as I-BATCH – a tailor-made tool which will allow Chinese authorities to process and check thousands of data in a very short time.

'In addition to our services already in place in China, the launch of the video hotline connection between Beijing and INTERPOL’s 24/7 global Command and Co-ordination Centre is further evidence of the resolve of Chinese law enforcement authorities to ensure the swiftest and most efficient exchange of information to ensure security for the 2008 Olympics, especially in the event of any sort of urgent situation,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Noble.

INTERPOL warned in April that the Beijing Games, like other Olympics, could be a target for terrorists keen to harm innocent people and to exploit the worldwide media opportunity. Chinese authorities said that a bomb attack on Monday killed 16 paramilitary police in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang.

INTERPOL has extensive experience of deploying IMESTS to major sporting events, including amongst others the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany, the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar, the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, the 2008 Football African Cup of Nations in Ghana and the 2008 Football European Cup in Austria and Switzerland.