China Censors Web for Olympic Journos

Sites deemed objectionable blocked, despite promises
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2008 10:22 AM CDT
Foreign journalists use Internet services provided at the Main Press Center at the Olympic Green in Beijing, Tuesday, July 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
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(Newser) – Journalists covering the Olympic games in Beijing will not be allowed access to websites deemed objectionable by the Chinese government, the BBC reports, in spite of promises from the IOC that Internet access would be unfettered. Blocked sites include pages related to the Falun Gong spiritual group, as well as human rights organizations like Amnesty International.

A senior IOC official acknowledges with "disappointment" that some sites will be off-limits to the 20,000 members of the foreign press expected to attend. "I have been advised that some of the IOC officials had negotiated with the Chinese that some sensitive sites would be blocked," he reports. A Chinese official tells the BBC that journalists will have enough access to do their jobs. "During the Olympic Games we will provide reporters with sufficient and convenient Internet access so the Olympic Games will not be affected," he said.