D Day-7: all the rage is about reporters finding out that they don’t have the same access to websites as usual. Type in falun gong or tibet and you get a blank page or an error (something covered during Lift06…).
What strikes me as suprising is the (fainted?) naïvity on both sides. Did foreign reporters really believe that Beijing would “open” China’s Internet during the Games (and potentially leave it open afterwards)? Did the Chinese government really believe that the press would search the Internet in China solely for articles on athletes or sports?
No more surprising is the IOC admitting on July 30 that its officials negotiated with the Chinese that some sensitive sites would be blocked on the basis they were not considered Games related! The Chinese are limiting their promise to providing the media with convenient and sufficient access to the Internet.
Time for the foreign media to [dis]cover how to circumvent China’s firewall…
P.S.: For those who didn’t notice, Eutelsat Communications stopped some time ago broadcasting New Tang Dynasty Television’s (NTDTV) to China – officially due to a power generator subsystem problem, less officially because the network was getting repeated complaints and reminder from the Chinese government. Strange practices since the European Union’s charter that created Eutelsat required the practice of non-discrimination, equal access, and respect for media pluralism. Censorship doesn’t always from where you expect it!