Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Beijing & IOC BS

RSF report on Chinese suppression of the media


I am sure that there have been thousands of protests to major broadcasters like the BBC & NOS who have been forced to switch off their internet streams during the Athens Olympics because of rights demands by the IOC. Hopefully in 4 years time, the broadcasters will make a stand as they see their traditional audiences using other media, like broadband, as well as over-the-air material. And what about repeats using the services like Uitzending Gemist (Missed the Programme) from www.uitzendinggemist.nl

By 2008, there will be thousands of mobile phones in the stadia, all equipped with cameras encoding in MPEG-4 and with a possibility of streaming stuff to their friends. Is the IOC going to wake up and move into the new century? Or will they demand spectators leave their camera phones at home?

It is worring that the Chinese authorities are quick to close down any controversial websites China closes web site opposed to Japan train contract. The South China Morning Post web site carried the news yesterday that a Chinese mainland web site has been shut for opposing the Ministry of Railways' decision to grant a multi-billion yuan bullet-train contract to Japanese companies without a public hearing. Beijing-based Patriots Alliance Network administrator Lu Yunfei said his web site was taken off line 22 hours after it launched a petition this past Monday.

"Our server operator told us that the Beijing Communications Administration ordered the shutdown because officials thought the issue was sensitive," Mr Lu said. On Monday, 68,733 signatures were collected from individuals and other websites before the shutdown went into effect.

As the Athens Olympic Games entered their final days, French-based Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) awarded China an additional gold medal - one for human rights violations. China's repression of dissidents, including journalists and cyber-dissidents, has not let up during the Athens games. The People's Republic of China is the world's biggest prison for the press. Twenty-seven journalists and more than 60 Internet users are detained for crimes of opinion.
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