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Wikileaks Cablegate on 2008 Olympics: US rats on Dutch radio avoiding IOC & Chinese censors via complex intertubes

Aftenposten’s monopoly on unleaked-by-Wikileaks-leaks went comparatively stale this weekend for American readers at least, but there was this nugget in a Beijing Olympics “Situation Report.” The last item of an August 21, 2008 diplomatic cable told how a Dutch pirate radio operation was able to circumvent Chinese censors and an International Olympic Committee exclusivity contract. By reporting “Radio 538 is using a complex system of ISDN telephone lines,” the US embassy was less ratting out the Dutch than revealing its own misunderestimation of Chinese internets and/or intertubes.

22. (U) Dutch Radio Station Evades Censors:

The Dutch commercial broadcaster Radio 538 on 08/19/2008 continued to defy both the Chinese censors and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by broadcasting live from Beijing during the Olympic Games, according to a Dutch radio report.

Officially, the only Dutch broadcaster registered to broadcast from Beijing during the Olympics is public broadcaster NOS. Unlike officially registered broadcasters, Radio 538 is not required to send its feed through the Olympics Broadcast Center, where Chinese authorities could theoretically censor its output.

Instead, Radio 538 is using a complex system of integrated service digital networks (ISDN) telephone lines to transmit its broadcasts out of Beijing and to foil authorities´ attempts to block its transmissions.

Radio 538´s connection with its Beijing studio has been down for only 20 minutes on one day since the beginning of the Olympics, according to the Dutch radio report.

For the regularly appended list of USG cables released exclusively in Norway, check this Aftenposten link. For a daily summary written for an English audience, check Views and News from Norway.

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