Apr 02 2008
From Staci Kramer at Paidcontent.org:
"With the Beijing Olympics roughly four months away, Kevan Gosper, vice chairman of the IOC coordinating commission, is warning organizers that the internet must be open during the games and that restrictions "would reflect very poorly" on China. AP quotes Gosper about raising the issue during the last official organizing meeting before the Beijing Olympics: "This morning we discussed and insisted again. ... Our concern is that the press (should be) able to operate as it has at previous games. ... There was some criticism that the Internet closed down during events relating to Tibet in previous weeks." Gosper added: "I'm satisfied that the Chinese understand the need for this and they will do it.""
I remain optimistic that there will be open access to the critical tools need to enable our Lenovo Olympic Blogger program and that is Google's Blogger and YouTube platforms, both of which have been particularly problematic from time to time due to the capricious nature of the "connection has been reset" phenomenon known as the Great Firewall. With the IOC permitting athlete blogs during the Games for the first time, there will be a great deal of pressure to maintain an open conduit of internet communications. With the world's press on the scene as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators from around the world, I don't see a tightening of access, but a relaxation.
Or at least so I hope. Fallows' piece in the Atlantic Monthly remains the best FAQ on the situation.