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back to article Chinese net censors unblock BBC, Wikipedia

After foreign journalists complained that several web sites had been blocked at Olympic media centers in Beijing, it appears that access has been now restored to some, including the BBC's Chinese-language site. Speaking to The Beeb itself, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson called this a "good sign." Back in …

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Not quite correct

Wikipedia and the BBC may be unblocked, but certain pages on those sites and others are still inaccessible.

For example, you may have a look at the Tiananmen entry at the English Wikipedia, however, the entry about the 1989 protests linked from there still can't be accessed. Or YouTube: You can access it, but specific videos can't be viewed, among those the one from above protests, where a man is standing in front of tanks, blocking their path.

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Anonymous Coward

Whats the big deal?

I don't get it. How hard is it for these media types to setup a VPN to their office or use a proxy setup at their offices outside the country and browse all the forbidden sites to their hearts content? Am I missing something or is the media just clueless about how to bypass basic web filtering?

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Flame

Journalists without balls

So the international journalists are annoyed? They don't like the Internet censorship? They don't like that "student helpers" (Chinese state security) note down their details and take photos of them when they happen to ask a critical question in a press conference? They don't like that the official minutes of press conferences are censored and critical questions removed from the minutes?

Why on earth don't they show some balls and go on strike? Just for a day or so. No olympic reporting for a day, e.g. skip that fogging opening ceremony. Why do they have their heads so deep in the arses of the Chinese officials?

What should the Chinese do when they go on strike? Deport them all for just taking a day off? Then they would have no olympic reporting at all.

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Reporters aren't techs

Of course they are. They're in exactly the same position as most web users who aren't techies, and wouldn't know a VPN from a Vice President. They're largely sports reporters, a.k.a. jocks, not technicians.

What's really obnoxious is that the IOC knew the Chinese wouldn't live up to their commitments, and awarded them the games anyway.

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@ what's the big deal

The deal is, they shouldn't have to. Numerous times free and unfettered net access was promised. Instead, the get the nannynet. Censorship is wrong, m'kay.

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Coat

Re: reporters arnt techs

That's why media companys employ IT and Comms staff.

So the reporter double clicks on Cisco VPN Client and after several abortive attempts they manage to enter their username, PIN# and the 6 digit code on their Secure ID token.

If they're not using some form of VPN then it makes you wonder how they got to China in the 1st place as it must be a real cheap company

All too often I was the poor bugger who had to argue with drunken sports reporters that their name was jsmith and not jsmQn€Ath as they where actually typing

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Newspeak

It seems the Chinese have been taking lessons from our ISP's.

"Uncensored and Unfiltered" net access obviously works in the same way as "unlimited downloads".

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Spotlight

Of course the reporters could get a couple of techies in to set up a VPN. And of course they could strike in protest, and some may say the Chinese should never have been allowed to host the games while they continue with their inhumane oppression.

But that misses the point completely.

With the games going ahead you now have the spotlight of *all* the world's *popular* press shining on their antics rather than just the observations of the enlightened and interested Amnesty fans.

And with 10,000s of international athletes and press mingling with the local populace all sorts of information can be getting in that would otherwise be blocked.

Huge beers to the first National government that grants asylum to the entire Chinese team (though they'd have to sneak out their entire extended families too to avoid reprisals...)

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Coat

What's all this about the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

Look, I don't know what you crazy punters are on about. It's 1936, and boy am I excited to watch those Olympics over in Berlin this summer!

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Paris Hilton

Shock horror

It transpires that that pillar of ethical rectitude, the IOC, not only knew that China was going to censor the net, but said (to the Chinese gubmint) it was perfectly okay with them, while they said (to us) that net freedom would shine forth in the great tradition of the Olympic Spirit (tm).

Next thing they'll be telling us that the athletes aren't heroes after all.

Paris, 'cause we know we can trust *her*.

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Roband works

Just last night I was conducting a one on one demo of Loband. Surprising how few journos working in countries with dire download speeds don't know about it. As a last resort, I always find the dialectizer from rinkworks will get me news in Redneck

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We're missing the real point here

Which is why the hell do these journalists need access to wikipedia?

Aren't these people supposed to be sending information outwards rather than bringing nonsense inwards?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spotlight

What happend to the 'spotlight' in Berlin 1936? Did someone forget to put a bulb in it?

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Paris Hilton

I'll get you in the end (oh yeah, oh yeah)

"Huge beers to the first National government that grants asylum to the entire Chinese team (though they'd have to sneak out their entire extended families too to avoid reprisals...)"

Would they be safe? Even if their familes were spirited off to rural Britain, would they still be safe? We all saw what happened during the Olympic torch ceremony through London, with Chinese security guards jostling the police on British soil. Even if the asylum-seekers were not hassled by Chinese agents, I reckon that our government would do everything in their power to betray them. If it comes down to more trade with China, or the welfare of some pesky refugees, I can't see our government siding with the refugees. I can't see any Western government siding with the refugees. I can't see any government anywhere siding with the refugees.

If they rock the boat in China, there's nowhere for them to run.

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Anonymous Coward

Unblocked...

...to foreign journo types, not the locals.

So now at least, the journalists can be both bored (BBC) and misinformed (Wikipedia).

Wikipedia's especially poor in this context, current events and living people is where it has the biggest issues.

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Flame

Who cares?

There are more reporters there and athletes, and all to cover a pointless, jumped-up sports day being held on the soil of a despotic and totalitarian regime. If these reporters had any back-bone or integrity, they'd be exposing the daily atrocities being committed in China; rather than drooling over teenagers in tight-shorts.

A waste of time, a waste of resources, a waste of my license fee.

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Black Helicopters

VPN?

Of course the reporters can use a VPN, just choose from the encryption options:

i) Government-approved algorithm, guaranteed not to have any nasty, foreign backdoors.

ii) Unapproved algorithm - who knows what is in AES or 3DES? (and who will know where you are when you disappear quietly?)

Or maybe it is just a mis-understanding, when they said "no censorship", they meant "no EXTRA censorship".

Next they'll be implementing a "watershed"... now that couldn't happen in the UK, could it?

Got to go, the black helicopters are approaching - but whose are they?

Anonymous, because the Olympics are held near here.

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Reporting on sport?

Why do the journalists need access to sites like Amnesty International and the Chinese Language BBC site to cover a sporting event anyway?

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Anonymous Coward

heh

I know plenty of Chinese folk and they seem to like their system more then we like ours. Well it's about 3 to 1 1 for, 2 well it could be better but it's better then the fail you have and 1 strongly against.

I mean jeez I don't think there was as much pissing and whinning about having the games in the USSR (bar the yanks not going.)

There are alot of people in China and I just don't think it would work any other way. Just look at Chinese history (there's quite alot of it).

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Anonymous Coward

@AC : heh

>I know plenty of Chinese folk and they seem to like their system more then we like ours.

You mean they like not having access to things?

>There are alot of people in China and I just don't think it would

>work any other way. Just look at Chinese history (there's quite alot of it).

Yes, because lots of people have to be censored.

Your grammar is a bit iffy, so I might have got the wrong end of the stick there.

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try going there for an unrelated business trip

They have basically stopped/limited/reduced/delayed/increased the price etc. of issuing visas to China even for short trips unrelated to olympics...

Personally I will avoid the TV olympics circus like the plague and won't notice if the hacks go on strike.

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Unhappy

@VPN?

AES is a standard

The AES and DES (& 3DES) are open standards and have been reviewed for years

I suggest taking your tinfoil hat off now

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