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Chinese net censors unblock BBC, Wikipedia

Olympic games

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After foreign journalists complained that several web sites had been blocked at Olympic media centers in Beijing, it appears that access has been now restored to some, including the BBC's Chinese-language site.

Speaking to The Beeb itself, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson called this a "good sign."

Back in April, the IOC promised international media types they would have "access to uncensored internet" during this summer's Beijing Olympic Games. But this week, some journalists arriving early to cover the games reported that certain domains had been blocked, and it seems that certain IOC officials shook hands with the Chinese on a secret deal to censor "some sensitive sites."

But at least some of the sites have now been freed. Though Beijing authorities typically block the BBC's Chinese-language site, visiting journalists say it was available earlier today. And though the Chinese-language Wikipedia was blocked earlier this week, it too is available. The Olympic press can now spend their spare time chuckling at Jimbo Wales' worldwide cult.

But other domains are still blocked, The BBC says, including sites for the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, human rights groups like Amnesty International, and organizations promoting Tibetan independence. ®

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