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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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The West & the IOC Sell out to China - Again (Still)

Just never ceases to amaze me how the "West" will bend over backwards to apease repressive regimes.

IOC agrees to Internet blocking at the Games
By Andrew Jacobs Published: July 30, 2008

BEIJING: The Chinese government confirmed Wednesday what journalists arriving at the lavishly outfitted media center here had suspected: Contrary to previous assurances by Olympic and government officials, the Internet would be censored during the upcoming games.

Since the Olympic Village press center opened Friday, reporters have been unable to access scores of Web pages - politically sensitive ones that discuss Tibetan succession, Taiwanese independence, the violent crackdown of the protests in Tiananmen Square and the sites of Amnesty International, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers known for their freewheeling political discourse.

On Wednesday - two weeks after its most recent proclamation of an uncensored Internet during the Summer Games - the International Olympic Committee quietly agreed to some of the limitations, according to Kevan Gosper, chairman of the IOC press commission, Reuters reported.

Gosper said that he regretted the limitations but that "IOC officials negotiated with the Chinese that some sensitive sites would be blocked on the basis they were not considered Games related."

A government spokesman initially suggested the problems originated with the site hosts, but on Wednesday, he acknowledged that journalists would not have unfettered Internet use during the Games, which begin Aug. 8.
"It has been our policy to provide the media with convenient and sufficient access to the Internet," said Sun Weide, the chief spokesman for the Beijing Olympics organizing committee. "I believe our policy will not affect reporters' coverage of the Olympic games."

The Chinese government and the IOC had repeatedly suggested up until two weeks ago that the 20,000 journalists covering the games would have full Internet access. Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic committee president, declared that the foreign media would be able to report and publish its work freely in China and that the Internet would be uncensored.

The revelation that politically sensitive Web pages will be off limits to foreign reporters comes at a time of growing skepticism about the government's commitment to pledges made when it won the right to stage the games in 2001: that it would improve its record on human rights and provide athletes with clean air.

Despite a litany of measures that include restricting private vehicles and shuttering factories, Beijing's skyline in recent days has been shrouded in a thick haze, prompting some hang-wringing over whether the government can deliver on its promise of a "blue skies" Olympics.

In recent months, human rights advocates have accused Beijing of stepping up the detention and surveillance of those it fears could disrupt the Games. On Tuesday, President George W. Bush privately met with five Chinese dissidents at the White House to drive home his dissatisfaction with the pace of change. Bush, who leaves for the opening ceremonies in just over a week, also pressed China's foreign minister to ease political repression.

Concerns about free access to the Internet in Beijing had intensified Tuesday, when Western journalists working at the main press center in Beijing said they could not get to Amnesty International's Web site to see the group's critical report on China's failure to improve its human rights record ahead of the Olympics.

Journalist groups complained last week about treatment from security officials while trying to interview people waiting in line for Olympic tickets, according to Bloomberg News.

Jonathan Watts, president of The Foreign Correspondents Club of China, said he was disappointed that Beijing had failed to honor its agreement to temporarily remove the elaborate firewall that prevents ordinary Chinese from fully using the Internet. "Obviously if reporters can't access all the sites they want to see, they can't do their jobs," he said. "Unfortunately, such restrictions are normal for reporters in China, but the Olympics were supposed to be different."

Sandrine Tonge, the IOC media relations coordinator, said the organization would press the Chinese authorities to reconsider the limits.

How to circumvent censors
Reporters Without Borders is encouraging journalists covering the Beijing Olympics to skirt censorship with tips on how to get around firewalls, lock computer files and find safe translators, The Associated Press reported from Paris.

In a guide published on the Internet on Wednesday, the organization advised reporters to conduct phone calls and write e-mail messages with the knowledge that they might be monitored.

The new guide will probably help only journalists who have not yet left for Beijing: The press freedom group says its Web site, Reporters sans frontières - Reporters Without Borders - Reporteros sin fronteras, remains blocked in China. The country has backed away from a promise to lift all Internet blocks on foreign media.

IOC agrees to Internet blocking at the Games - International Herald Tribune
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 06:27 PM
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It gets better...

My suggestion is to invest in ChapStick. NBC is blowing China so often that stock has to skyrocket.

Senator: China orders hotels to help spy on Internet users

From Jill Dougherty
CNN International U.S. Affairs Editor

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior U.S. lawmaker says China is ordering foreign-owned hotels there to install government software and hardware that would let authorities spy on guests' Internet activities during the Beijing Olympics.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, released a translated document Wednesday from China's Public Security Bureau that he said orders hotels to use the monitoring programs.

CNN was not able to independently verify the original document, and calls to the Chinese Embassy in Washington went unanswered. CNN will continue to try to reach Beijing for a response to Brownback's allegations.

The senator said journalists, athletes, tourists, activists and others would be subjected to invasive intelligence gathering by the Public Security Bureau.

Several international hotel chains have confirmed the order, Brownback said, but he wouldn't disclose which ones, saying they fear retaliation from the Chinese government. He said the hotels are warning guests that their Internet activities are not private.

The translated document offered by Brownback's staff states that "refusing the installment or stopping operation of the system after installment will be subject to punishment. ... In case of serious violation, access to the Internet will be suspended or the business license will be canceled."

CNN reached one hotel manager who said authorities met with the staff to discuss Internet security. However, he said, the officials didn't provide any documentation.

The manager said on condition of anonymity that the Chinese government is capable of monitoring Internet traffic without involving or telling the hotels that it is doing so.

Stanley Marcuss, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce, advised business travelers to leave their laptops at home.

"They are required by the U.S. government not to permit unauthorized access to information stored in their computers," he said, "and if the Chinese say, 'We're going to get access to what's in your computer if you use your computer in China,' that's a real problem."

Senator: China orders hotels to help spy on Internet users - CNN.com




I will be just as happy if they simply stop the Olympics. They are nothing but commercialism and politics. Add that to the steroids and cheating and what is the Fn POINT?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 06:35 PM
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Peeps, our government does the same shit, it's just not saying it!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 07:04 PM
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Peeps, our government does the same shit, it's just not saying it!
We do some stuff, we don't have the comprehensive paranoia index up to 11...Yet.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 07:17 PM
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We all know by now that IOC is a spineless organization that sways every which way the money is.

Previous IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch was also known as Juan Antonio Buy Me Lunch. He's done more damage to the original mission of the Olympic Games than politicization by Jimmy Carter.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 07:54 AM
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Peeps, our government does the same shit, it's just not saying it!
Most governments do it, they dont, however, admit it to the international press. Its a different mentality.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 08:19 AM
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Who can be surprised by this? This is how China plays. The fact that the IOC believed all the promises China made back when they were awarded the game is almost, but not quite, on the same scale of folly and foolishness as Neville Chamberlain believing he had achieved "peace in our time" as he waved around a piece of paper with Hitler's signature on it.

There was a thread running last week questioning which country would be the next superpower. China *is* a superpower. They do things like this "because they can" and there isn't anyone willing or able to stand up to them to make them change their mind.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 08:41 AM
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Who can be surprised by this? This is how China plays. The fact that the IOC believed all the promises China made back when they were awarded the game is almost, but not quite, on the same scale of folly and foolishness as Neville Chamberlain believing he had achieved "peace in our time" as he waved around a piece of paper with Hitler's signature on it.

There was a thread running last week questioning which country would be the next superpower. China *is* a superpower. They do things like this "because they can" and there isn't anyone willing or able to stand up to them to make them change their mind.
I started that thread and you are very astute, the Chines run their country their own way and very rarely care about international critisism. The media are here to report on the olympics and not on the countries politics. There will be 20,000 news media personnel here for the olympics and thats a lot of foriegn media attention, so Beijing is only asking them to report on the olympics and stay away from politics.

One thing is for sure, China, India and pakistan would never become another Iraq. If GWB messes with pakistan we will see a whole new story and he will end up in the Hauge court system.

ERIC.

___________________________________________
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.
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