Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I'm amazed at the reactions I've read about Internet access as it relates to journalists during the Olympics. Everyone is shocked that China will not provide complete, unfiltered access. Of course the government doesn't want reporters doing research for politically sensitive topics during August. And I'm sure that all the volunteers in the Olympic Media Village will be monitoring every computer for poxy servers and other undesirable material (careful, don't surf for porn on Chinese government computers).

The bigger story is that the harmonized access to the Internet will be expensive. According to Andrew Lih and Slashdot, Beijing is charging US$1131.20 for Internet access in the Olympic Media Village. That fee is for one month of Internet access. To put this in perspective, I pay about 700 RMB for six months of harmonized access to the Web. At this time the exchange rate is approximately 6.8 RMB to $1; you do the math.

And then there is US Senator Sam Brownback, who is berating China over its alleged attempts at spying on foreign guests in hotels. Does Sen. Brownback think that tourists are carrying state secrets to China during the Olympics? How does the Senator feel about my own government listening in on my weekly phone calls with my parents? I bet Homeland Security is bored every time they listen in.

Sen. Brownback, have you met Mr. Kettle?

1 comment:

Judy Haley (coffeejitters) said...

If it wasnt so sad, it would be funny how the US government gets up in arms about the lack of certain freedoms in other parts of the world.