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Beijing opens hi-tech command hub for Games
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Beijing's first government data pool and emergency command center has commenced operations.

The center will operate during and after the Olympics.

The Digital Beijing Building, located a few hundred meters northwest of the National Stadium, the main stadium for the Games, will be the central powerhouse of all statistical, visual and audio information from all 37 venues nationwide during the Olympics.

The center will be able to receive live images from spectator stands at all venues, sources told China Daily.

The center, 11 storeys high and two levels below ground, will continue to be the government's command headquarters in the event of an emergency after the Games.

"Here we have access to the cell phone network, the land phone network, the government's network and the police network, either cable or wireless networks. That's why we are able to respond as the command headquarters in times of an emergency," an official from the municipality's IT office, who requested anonymity, said.

"Because we have been working with five telecom and Internet service providers, we are basically a telecom headquarters."

Experts said that with such a network, the city would be able to track phone and Internet communications in the event of a terrorist attack.

"Unlike the US where reportedly 100 percent of phone communications and 80 percent of Web communications are monitored, our country has not obtained advanced technologies like that," said Liu Jianwei, an electronics information expert from Beijing-based Beihang University.

"At the moment, problems like web communication filtering have not been solved. But I believe both citizens and the technical personnel should conduct themselves under the framework of the law."

(China Daily November 5, 2007)

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