Apr 02 2008

IOC Exec Warns China Against Internet Censorship During Olympics – washingtonpost.com

Published by at 6:56 AM under China,Global,Olympics

IOC Exec Warns China Against Internet Censorship During Olympics – washingtonpost.com

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.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “IOC Exec Warns China Against Internet Censorship During Olympics – washingtonpost.com”

  1. Mikeon 03 Apr 2008 at 12:32 AM

    Will likely be OK in “International” & Olympics complexes, areas, etc… but, for the average Chinese, they will still be blocked. China does distinguish residences by “Int’l” and can control TV & network access as such

  2. Alan Buxtonon 03 Apr 2008 at 9:26 AM

    October last year I was in Shanghai and was surprised by the number of blocked blogs – wordpress.com as a whole was blocked (given that I host my blog on wordpress.com I’m obviously biased). But more than that – I checked 6 procurement industry blogs and 3 were blocked. See here: http://alanbuxton.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/the-great-firewall-of-china-and-procurement-blogs/

    So I wouldn’t be surprised to find a lot of exasperated bloggers arriving in Beijing and surprised that they simply can’t get to their favourite sites. (Unless they are lucky enough to have a connection that, e.g. goes via Hong Kong thereby bypassing China’s golden shield).

  3. Brianneon 03 Apr 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Hey David, This just read this in Sports Business Daily: IOC assuring media that there will not be a delay or censored access to Internet. A censorship issue would be disasterous. I hope the believers in freedom of press are ready to make a big stink if Olympics fall victim to China’s censorship policies.


    The IOC said today that media members at the Beijing Olympics will have “access to uncensored Internet and there will be no delay of the television signal.” China “routinely censors the Internet and delays or censors” TV signals, but IOC Chief Inspector Hein Verbruggen “assured his team” that media covering the games “would not be effected” (REUTERS, 4/3).

  4. David Churbuckon 03 Apr 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Everyone should read the Fallows piece linked in the post It still holds valid I think.

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