China performs graceful flip in Olympic censorship routine

Apparently stung by the negative attention, the Chinese government has decided that journalists visiting for the Olympics won’t have to labor under the same Internet restrictions as the rest of the nation after all (see “Olympic journalists choking on irritants in Beijing’s atmosphere“). “The issue has been solved,” said International Olympic Committee VP Gunilla Lindberg. “The IOC Coordination Commission and (the Beijing organizing committee) met last night and agreed. Internet use will be just like in any Olympics.”

A post from the IOC said, “The media should be seeing a noticeable difference in accessibility to Web sites that they need to report on the Olympic Games. The IOC has always encouraged the Beijing 2008 organizers to provide media with the fullest access possible to report on the Games, including access to the Internet, knowing this is important for them to do their job. This access has always been assured by BOCOG and the Chinese authorities and the IOC is pleased to see these are assurances being upheld.” Mind you, the “fullest access possible” is still not full access. Said IOC spokesman Kevan Gosper, “There will be sites blocked that have to do with pornography or where in the opinion of the national government are sites which are subversive or against national interest, and that’s normal in most countries in the world.”


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