Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Internet filtering and the Olympics

We take a lot of things for granted in the United States.

You can say just about anything on the Internet and get away with it. You can call the President a moron, complain about the government, anything that isn't a direct threat basically, and get away with it in this country.

However, other countries, including China, don't have the same freedoms. Internet usage is filtered and monitored in that country. I did wonder how this was going to affect the tourists and news media who would be descending upon Beijing for the Olympics.

LeBron James and the "Redeem Team"
won the gold medal in basketball!

It turns out someone else thought of this. The Chinese government apparently opened up the country's site blocking to certain locations. For example, hotels that foreigners were staying at would be filtered less than people's homes. Very clever - this puts a lot of people in the position to go back to their home nations and say "well, they didn't block anything I tried to view..." and makes China look good. Brilliant.

There is an article from the Atlantic that talks about this - it's a little long and a bit technical at points, but extremely well written.

Link to article

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