Jul 29, 2008

Free Access in the Forbidden Village - if not City

South China Morning Post reported yesterday that the Olympic Village in Beijing wins praise for comforts - including some bizarre twists. You, if lucky enough to be permited stepping into this forbidden village (video), will find many exciting things: free access to those blocked websites including BBC Chinese network, the online sites of Taiwanese newspapers like Liberty Times, and Hong Kong's Apple Daily, and you will even find an entire shelf of photo albums featuring nude Chinese women in the bookstore.
That's terrific. I guess the reason of this considerate arrangement is: the athletes and their coaches will be surely under a great pressure during the Olympics, so it is a necessity for them to relax when they go back to the Olympic village. So, even an Australian therapist who has been to four Olympics had not expected something like this in the bookshop of an Olympic village, this must be one of the plausible creativity of our great Beijing 2008.
It leaves some minor legal problems: How about the jurisdiction of Chinese authority who is in charge of controlling illegal materials like nude albums in the Olympic village? If a Chinese volunteer bought some albums from those humanitarian bookstore, could he / she bring them out of the forbidden village legally? Is the network service provider of the Olympic village exemted to be punished for spreading perhaps "illegal" websites?
In our great country, freedom always stands there, the absentee is the equality.

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