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China has 'nothing to fear' from Internet: White House

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 30, 2008
US President George W. Bush said China has "nothing to fear" from Internet freedom, after Beijing sparked an uproar with its plans to censor the Internet during the Olympics, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"President Bush has long said that China has nothing to fear from greater access to the Internet or to the press or from more religious freedom and human freedom and human rights," press secretary Dana Perino said.

"And that's one of the things that he talked about yesterday with the dissidents he met with, here at the White House," she said, declining to comment directly on China's decision to reverse a pledge to allow unfettered web access for foreign press covering the Games August 8-24.

"We want to see more access for reporters, we want to see more access for everybody in China to be able to have access to the Internet," Perino said.

"We think that China would be enhanced and continue to prosper if they allowed for more freedom."

Beijing Olympic organizing committee spokesman Sun Weide triggered the latest public relations flare-up when he confirmed that foreign reporters would not have access to some sites deemed sensitive by China's communist rulers.

"During the Olympic Games we will provide sufficient access to the Internet for reporters," Sun said Wednesday.

However "sufficient access" falls short of the complete Internet freedoms for foreign reporters that China had promised in the run-up to the Games.

The news also proved an embarrassment for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had repeatedly said foreign press would not face any Internet curbs in Beijing.

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Ex-Google workers launch Internet search rival Cuil
San Francisco (AFP) July 28, 2008
A group of former Google engineers on Monday launched a rival Internet search engine, Cuil, saying it is an improved version of the world's most popular Web-scouring tool.







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