Reporters Vent Fury at Great Firewall of China

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Olympic Games organisers bore the brunt of international media frustration yesterday as key global internet sites were shut down and the speed of the internet connections reduced to levels not seen for a decade.

In a double-barrelled attack, the BOCOG officials were also quizzed about the ongoing thick pollution that has enveloped Beijing. Games organisers had based their entire Games strategy on Green Olympics, Hi-tech Olympics and Peoples’ Olympics, but two out of three elements were failing, the reporters claimed.

Journalists from international publications protested about internet speeds “10 times slower than at the Sydney Olympic Games eight years ago” and the apparent censorship of websites, especially those from other news organisations.

For more information on the smog that has accumulated over Beijing, see the Associated Press report:

The Chinese capital was shrouded in thick gray smog on Sunday, just 12 days before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. One expert warned that drastic measures enacted to cut vehicle and factory emissions in the city were no guarantee skies would be clear during competitions.

The pollution was among the worst seen in Beijing in the past month, despite traffic restrictions enacted a week ago that removed half of the city’s vehicles from roadways.

For more information on internet speed and censorship, see the Herald Sun:

Today, some media in the Main Press Centre (MPC) struggled to view various international news websites, including the BBC’s Chinese service and appledaily.com.

There are concerns that once the 22,000 media expected at the Games arrive, connections will become even slower.