Paris Olympics security plans were not stolen in computer theft, officials say

  • Paris City Hall confirmed on Wednesday that no security plans for the upcoming Olympic Games were compromised in the reported theft of computer gear.
  • Security is the primary challenge for organizers of the Paris Games due to the city’s history of extremist attacks.
  • An investigation is ongoing into the confirmed breaches of internal security procedures.

Paris City Hall said Wednesday that no policing plans for the upcoming Olympic Games were lost in the theft of computer gear reported by one of its employees.

A City Hall statement said: “Initial checks established that the worker didn’t possess any information relating to the organization and deployment of law enforcement during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

French broadcaster BFMTV first reported Tuesday evening that a computer and USB keys containing Olympic Games security plans for Paris City Hall were stolen aboard a train at the French capital’s Gare du Nord station.

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BFM said one of the USB keys was encrypted and stored security plans relating to roads and traffic for the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games.

Paris police

French police patrol around the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, on Dec. 7, 2023. Paris City Hall officials said that no policing plans for the upcoming Olympic Games were lost in the theft of computer gear reported by one of its employees. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

In a city repeatedly hit by deadly extremist attacks, security is the biggest challenge for Paris Games organizers.

The Paris prosecutor’s office on Wednesday described media coverage of the theft as “hasty.” It said a City Hall engineer had lost a bag at Gare du Nord on Monday and reported that it contained a USB key used for work.

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“However, it is important to specify that this key only contained notes related to traffic in Paris during the Olympic Games, and not on sensitive security plans,” the prosecutor’s office said.

City Hall’s statement said the worker’s computer gear “contained notes for internal use,” concerning the employee’s IT-related work for the Paris traffic department.

It said an investigation is underway into the “proven breaches of internal security procedures” and that depending on its findings, “sanctions will be taken.”

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