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Source: China Daily

Posted on April 15, 2008

      Beijing set up an information safety emergency response and management center last week to safeguard Internet operations during the Beijing Games.

      The new center, the first of its kind in China, will operate under the Beijing Network Union and guard against computer viruses, network attacks, hackers and system failures.

      As part of the program, 21 information safety service providers and more than 30 information security experts have assembled in Beijing to set up 10 emergency response groups.

      "As one of the main tools connecting the world, the Internet plays an important role in the transmission of information during the Olympics, thus its safety is of great significance," Wang Jiangmin, head of the new center, said at a press conference this week marking the launch of the new center.

      "We have formed an Internet security alarm and incident-registration mechanism to analyze every incident that is reported and provide a corresponding solution," he added.

      Internet safety has been a constant thorn in the side of Olympic organizers since it was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

      The official website of the Sydney Games is believed to have been attacked at least 11.3 billion times during the 16 days of the 2000 Games.

      Athens Games organizers also prioritized Internet safety and invested some $400 million in refitting their computer security systems. At the last Winter Olympics in Turin, its online safety system reported 3 million incidents each day and defeated 158 incidents that could have temporarily frozen access to the Internet, including 10 cases rated "severe".

      "Our emergency response system is under trial and is expected to be put in full operation in July, "Chen Jingliang, deputy director of the center, told China Daily, adding that the center will operate at its highest warning level during the Aug 8-24 Games.

      "We will have staff on duty around the clock to deal with emergencies," he said.

      Besides serving the Beijing Olympics, the center is looking at how it can improve the flow and safety of information in Beijing outside of current government provisions, Chen said.

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