Thursday, May 8, 2008

No Web for China

One of the primary arguments against boycotting the upcoming Beijing Olympics is the idea that by flooding China with the kind of worldwide attention and scrutiny that comes with such an event, its oppressive and anti-human policies will be flushed out. But the problem here is that the world already knows about these policies. And China knows we know. They really don't care. Case in point: their recent backpedaling on whether they'll allow full access to the Internet during the games. Of course, China bans anti-communist and religious websites--even censoring Google search results within its borders. But in order to accommodate its international visitors during the Olympics, they supposedly considered temporarily lifting restrictions. This would allow international journalists free access to cover the games (assuming they don't all choke to death on Beijing's noxious pollution before then), but would also open up a flood of information for the Chinese populace. Turns out, that's not going to happen after all. You know how you wear that horrible sweater your grandmother knitted you only when she comes over, and the rest of the year you keep it under your bed with all the soiled underpants? Well, that horrible sweater is China's willingness to play-act like a civilized country. And we're your senile lump of a grandma. More details here.

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