Travel to Other Destinations
While travel to China and Russia may pose unique risks when it comes to cyber espionage, many international travel destinations may have physical safety or security issues (including war, counter-insurgency operations, political instability and civil unrest, high levels of violent crime or property crime, the presence of land mines and unexploded ordnance, or damage caused by natural disasters or industrial accidents). Those and other safety and security risks must all be taken into account when deciding when — or if — to travel, and what computers or other electronics to bring along if you do so.
To understand what a potentially attractive criminal target a foreign traveler may represent, recognize that even a single relatively inexpensive laptop may represent the equivalent of several year’s per capita GDP to local residents of some developing countries.1 Criminal elements abroad, like criminal elements at home, may also be highly motivated, and may be willing to use force, including deadly physical force, to obtain what they want. In areas where corruption is endemic,2 security authorities may be of little help.
Fortunately, many governments track international conditions and provide advice to those considering travel. Five of the best such sites are:
- United States Department of State’s Current Travel Warnings,3
- The British Foreign Office’s Travel Advice by Country,4
- Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Travel Reports and Warnings,5
- Australia’s Smartraveller Travel Advisory Service, and6
- New Zealand’s List of Travel Advisories by Destination.7
Note that countries may view risks differently, or have different levels of insight into particular regions, so it may be worthwhile to check all five of those travel advice sites for current conditions relating to all countries to which you’re considering travel.
When reviewing warnings, note that many times only portions of a country may have potential issues. For example, Japan is generally a very safe country to visit, but travel advisories have still been issued as a result of the Fukushima radiological disaster. Conditions in any given country can also change rapidly (either for the better or the
worse), so be sure to check all relevant countries prior to travel, regardless of whether they were listed on the following page at the time this summary was prepared in March 2012.
All travel inherently involves some risk. Your risk will be a function of many factors, including who you are, where you go, how you travel, when you travel, what you do while you travel, and a variety of other effectively random factors (e.g., you may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time through no fault of your own).
Ultimately, you are responsible for your own personal safety and security, and have final responsibility for any decision to travel (or not to travel) to any particular destination. Please also note that anomalous safety or security issues can arise in even the “safest” of destinations, so always keep your wits about you and always take basic prudent safety precautions, just as you would while at home.
Countries Where At Least to Some Part of the Country May Pose Concerns:
If you are considering travel to at least some part of any of the following countries, review the travel advice provided by the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to understand the safety and security considerations that may be applicable to you. In some cases, you will be told that you simply should not travel to some countries, or some parts of some countries. We strong urge you to heed that advice when offered. Conditions in some countries may be far worse than you might imagine.
Africa: Algeria,8 Angola,9 Burkina Faso,10 Burundi,11 Cameroon,12 Central African
Republic,13 Chad,14 Congo,15 Cote D’Ivoire,16 Democratic Republic of the Congo,17
Djibouti,18 Ethiopia,19 Eritrea,20 Gabon,21 Guinea,22 Guinea-Bissau,23 Kenya,24 Lesotho,25
Liberia,26 Libya,27 Madagascar,28 Mali,29 Mauritania,30 Morocco,31 Mozambique,32 Niger,33
Nigeria,34 Rwanda,35 Senegal,36 Sierra Leone,37 Somalia,38 South Africa,39 South Sudan,40
Sudan,41 Tunisia,42 Uganda,43 Zambia,44 and Zimbabwe.45
Gulf/Middle East Nations: Bahrain,46 Egypt,47 Iran,48 Iraq,49 Israel (including the West Bank and Gaza),50 Jordan,51 Lebanon,52 Saudi Arabia,53 Syria,54 United Arab Emirates,55 and Yemen.56
South America, Latin America or The Caribbean: Belize,57 Bolivia,58 Brazil,59 Colombia,60
Cuba,61 Dominican Republic,62 Ecuador,63 Guatemala,64 Haiti,65 Honduras,66 Mexico,67
Panama,68 Peru,69 and Venezuela.70
South Asia: Afghanistan,71 Bangladesh,72 India,73 Maldives,74 Pakistan,75 Sri Lanka,76 and
Southeast Asia or the Pacific: Cambodia,78 China,79 East Timor,80 Indonesia,81 Japan,82
Laos,83 Malaysia,84 Myanmar (Burma),85 North Korea,86 the Philippines,87 South Korea,88
Thailand89 and Vietnam.90
Some Former Regions of the Soviet Union/Some Former Eastern Bloc Countries: Albania,91 Armenia,92 Azerbaijan,93 Belarus,94 Georgia,95 Kazakhstan,96 Kosovo,97
Kyrgyzstan,98 Moldova,99 Russian Federation,100 Tajikistan,101 Turkmenistan,102 and
Australia/New Zealand: None
North America: None
Western Europe: None
Note: While the list above is believed to be comprehensive as of the time this report was prepared in March 2012, conditions constantly change. Consult the five governmental travel advisory sites mentioned on the preceding page for up-to-date information about countries you may be visiting.
10 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan- africa/burkina-faso
12 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan- africa/cameroon
15 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan- africa/congo
17 Democratic Republic of the, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5645.html
18 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan- africa/djibouti
35 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan- africa/rwanda
72 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia- oceania/bangladesh
79 See discussion of special cyber espionage risks when it comes to China travel
82 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia- oceania/japan
89 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia- oceania/thailand
92 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by- country/europe/armenia
98 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia- oceania/kyrgyzstan
100 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by- country/europe/russian-federation