With the Beijing Olympic Games set to kick off August 8, China ‘s Internet policies are being placed under new and more intense scrutiny. On April 1, the IOC demanded that China open up the Internet during the Games so that journalists could operate as they had during previous Games. The Chinese government assured the IOC that it had already unblocked some sites and the press would have unfettered access to the Internet. In May, China’s technology minister, Wan Gang, told Reuters China would “guarantee as much [access] as possible,” defending Web limitations as necessary to protect the country’s citizens. And recently, the ministry permitted open access for aid organizations, news outlets, and those affected by the massive earthquake in the Sichuan province. But Chris Boyd, director of malware research for FaceTime Communications, says that the Games have added even more uncertainty to the state of Chinese Internet access.
For a more in-depth look, read James Fallows’ “The Connection Has Been Reset” from The Atlantic.