Dispatch #16 – Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Not In The News

While watching television in my hotel room I kept noticing interruptions on the TV that at first I attributed to a weak cable connection or a spotty satellite transmission. As I watched repeated episodes of the BBC World News, I noticed that the interruptions seemed to occur with regularity during the opening segments of the news reports on the Tibetan
protests in Lhasa and bordering states in India.

In fact in this very moment as the BBC World News program to runs in the background the black out continues with each loop of the news-breaking story. The blackouts are so predictable that I was able to take these photos in sequence.

There are no sophisticated attempts to mask internet monitoring either. For example I can see news headlines on the Google page but when I click on the articles relating to the Tibet unrest or other sensitive topics I receive a screen message indicating the page is not available on the server. The same holds true for many articles on the New York Times website. Beijing is a cosmopolitan city with many treats and delights for foreigners and nationals alike.

For example last night I was treated to an amazing evening at the most lavish spa I have ever laid foot in. I mean this place occupied several floors in a high-rise building, and included amenities and personalized services that would satisfy the most avowed hedonist.


But it’s very difficult for me to enjoy my time here knowing it’s all an illusion. I can say for certain this trip has given me a newfound respect for political dissidents, free speech activists and environmentalist from this region. Maximum respect due.and given.

[sw 3.16.08]

Update: Internet Monitoring and Censorship Programming Details
Ah-Ha! So that’s how they do it!
“The Connection Has Been Reset”


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