“The Chinese government and the Chinese people have been
working in real earnest to honor the commitments made to the international
community,” said President Hu Jintao.
The announcement follows a series of “overnight talks” with
the International Olympic Committee, which previously said that it was “embarrassed”
last week when it announced it was unable
to honor its promise of a free, open internet to Olympic guests and reporters.
The decision to offer
an open internet does not appear to have any effect on the reported mandate
issued against foreign-owned hotels last week, which requires them to install
traffic monitoring software to spy on guests’ internet usage.
While a number of politically sensitive websites are still
blocked in China, the websites that have been unblocked – including Amensty
International, Human Rights Watch, and the BBC’s Chinese language service,
according to The Guardian – appear to
be available throughout most of the country. This, combined with remarks from Chinese
bloggers and network engineers, suggests that the country is either
ill-equipped to alter its filters for a specific client list, or that it is
simply preferable to do so for the entire country.
Tests by The Guardian indicates
that a number of topics remain blocked in China, including many pages
pertaining to the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, the Falun Gong movement,
Tibet, or Chinese dissidents.