Even before the first Olympic events begin, China has caused a major controversy. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was led to believe that China’s censorship protocols would be relaxed during the Olympic Games. The IOC was wrong:

“China is to maintain its censorship of overseas websites even for journalists covering the Beijing Olympics, undermining earlier claims by the International Olympic Committee that international media would enjoy unfettered internet access during the Games.

Beijing routinely blocks access to thousands of overseas websites considered politically or socially suspect as part of a sprawling and secretive internet censorship system…”

link: China limits Olympics journalists’ web access

When the Olympic Games begin, China will be the focus of the international community. The internet was designed to be able to be re-routed in case of problems. It will be interesting to see what will happen when international hackers, both ‘white hat’ hackers and ‘black hat’ hackers, rise up to the challenge of sending blocked sites into China.

The censorship should come as no surprise to the IOC. The Olympic Committee should know by now that politics always trumps athletic competition.

Catherine Forsythe