Feeds

Chinese to censor Olympic press net access

Sensitive sites blocked, despite previous assurances

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has admitted cutting a deal with the Chinese to allow the blocking of press access to some sensitive websites during the forthcoming Beijing games - despite previous assurances there would be no such censorship.

The IOC's press chief, Kevan Gosper, had said "internet access for the 21,500 media accredited for the August 8-24 Games would be 'open'", as Reuters puts it. However, he told the news agency yesterday: "I ... now understand that some IOC officials negotiated with the Chinese that some sensitive sites would be blocked on the basis they were not considered Games related."

Gosper elaborated: "It has been my belief, and I have expressed it consistently, that the international media would enjoy free and open access to the internet at Games time for reporting the Olympic Games and that censorship would not be an issue."

"I regret that it now appears [Olympic organiser] BOCOG has announced that there will be limitations on website access during Games time and, while I understand that sensitive material not related to the Olympic Games continues to be a matter for the Chinese, I believe BOCOG and the IOC should have conveyed a clear message to the international media, in so far as this affects internet access, at an earlier stage."

Reuters today unsuccessfully attempted to access Amnesty International's website from the main Olympic press centre, as well as sites relating to banned spiritual group Falun Gong. Amnesty "released a report on Monday slamming China for failing to honor its Olympic human rights pledges", which evidently didn't go down too well with the powers that be.

BOCOG spokesman Sun Weide insisted at a press confernece: "We are going to do our best to facilitate the foreign media to do their reporting work through the internet. I would remind you that Falun Gong is an evil fake religion which has been banned by the Chinese government.

He added: "I said we would provide sufficient, convenient internet access for foreign journalists to report on the Olympics."

While the Chinese authorities were praised for their stance on reporting the 12 May Sichuan earthquake, following their decision back in January 2007 to loosen controls over foreigners reporting in the country, "foreign media in China continue to complain of harassment by officials and Human Rights Watch released a report earlier this month saying China was not living up to its pledges".

Liu Binjie, the head of China's Ministry of Press and Publications, told Xinhua today that such criticisms defamed China "with stereotypes constructed from hearsay and prejudice in their mind, regardless of the reality".

He added that "new media regulations were being drawn up to replace those issued for the Olympics, which will expire in October", and promised: "China's open door to the foreign media will not close after the Games."

Liu concluded: "We regard the 12 May earthquake and the Olympic Games press coverage as an important test of the media operation system reforms and will explore building a more open and transparent media system after the Games." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.