Contrary to earlier promises to foreign journalists, China will offer limited access to the Internet during the Beijing Olympic Games.
Chinese authorities block information on the Internet that the Communist party views as improper, unhealthy or as a threat to its rule — essentially, all Internet information goes through
gateways in Beijing. The blocking is sometimes referred to as the “Great Firewall of China“.
Last year China introduced new regulations relaxing general media curbs for foreign journalists in the run-up to the Games. “For the first time, foreign media will be able to report freely and publish their work freely in China, There will be no censorship on the Internet” said a spokesman to AFP.
A spokesman for the Olympics replied that there will be sufficient access to the Internet for reporters. However, “sufficient” is not what was promised by China’s communist authorities in the run up to the Olympics. Blocked websites include Amnesty International, Religious websites, Tibet government-in-exile, dissidents and websites that give information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. These sites would remain blocked for thousands of foreign reporters covering the Olympics. Amnesty describes China as one of the world’s “enemies of the Internet”. (read more)