It was reported a while ago that China was going to allow uncensored internet during the Olympics in Beijing next month. Well, apparently that’s not quite true anymore.
The New York Times reports that “since the Olympic Village press center opened on Friday, reporters have been unable to access scores of Web pages — among them those that discuss Tibetan issues, Taiwanese independence, the violent crackdown on the protests in Tiananmen Square and the Web sites of Amnesty International, the BBC’s Chinese-language news, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers known for their freewheeling political discourse.”
For reporters covering the games, it is important that they have access to the internet to research, communicate, and file their stories. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had negotiated with China to provide unregulated internet access, but China’s concern for their national security, particularly relating to Tibet, has trumped their one-time promise that there would be an open access for all.
In a world where some people are connected to the internet 24/7 via their cell phones or other devices, China’s decision to block certain sites and information from thousands of foreign reporters and their own citizens seems like quite a bold move.
What’s your take? Should countries have the right block certain sites that they believe are dangerous for their national security?
The Associated Press is reporting that some sites have been unblocked at the main press center & media venues on Friday, after the IOC met with some Chinese officials.