Olympics: OpenNet is authoritative source

OpenNet Initiative is a go-to source for CPJ and anyone else who is interested in fact-based analysis of the Internet. Its academic approach–it’s a consortium of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, the Advanced Network Research Group at the Cambridge Security Programme, University of Cambridge, and the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford Universityhas made it an island of accuracy and reasonableness in the ebb and flow of online information.

The alert CPJ released Tuesday describes OpenNet Initiative’s recent findings about the censoring of the Web in the run-up to the Games, and calls on China and the International Olympic Committee to live up to the pledge they both made in 2001–that there would be no restrictions on reporters covering the Games.

Since the beginning of August, when revelations of Web censorship inside the Main Press Center emerged, I’ve been reporting anecdotally on Internet restrictions. Based on that evidence, a week ago we called on China to lift the restrictions.

The bottom line is that China’s online controls are efficient but far from perfect. Given the government’s obsession with controlling the flow, though, it is doubtful that the small advances made during the Olympics will survive the post-Games era.