Chinese officials expressed ‘disappointment' but it must have been more than that. No opening ceremony has ever been leaked, and certainly not so comprehensively. We now have a fairly good impression of the cast of thousands that is going to present the modern China - a mixture of high tech and special effects with a touch of Kremlin May Day parade nostalgia.
Apart from feeling understandable rage, officials must also fear the ease with which all their security systems have been breeched, but most of all what is fast becoming an important new phenomenon: sousveillance - watching from below. This means what every Joe or Georgina Bloggs can do with their mobile phone camera: capturing moments that the powerful would rather forget and cover up.
At a time when we are increasingly filmed and photographed going about our daily business, when CCTV is becoming a universal instrument of control under the guise of protecting us from terrorism, the democratic flipside of technological snooping is becoming an effective tool for the individual against the might of state institutions.
The mobile phone with a camera is on the spot wherever things are happening. It is a new democratic news gathering device, with often out of focus and shaky footage but completely authentic. We are able to spontaneously film whatever happens around us and pass it on to YouTube. This can include illegal police actions, crime and repressive political measures as well as monitoring official distortions of public events. It makes the man and woman in the street immensely powerful, and we are slowly waking up to our newly muscled IT grassroots democracy.
Recent examples include footage from Burma during the uprising and a recent report from Tibet secretly shot by a private visitor. Despite or perhaps because of its amateur technical quality the report was a powerful rebuttal of the official Chinese version of the situation in Tibet.
Similarly, some years ago a handheld camera captured one of the relatives of the crew in the Kursk disaster being injected by officials and collapsing after trying to protest, a rare and chilling example of Putin's ruthless methods of controlling the Russian population.
During the Olympic Games China is trying to exert the same kind of control. Access to certain websites has been blocked for the general public, but also for foreign journalists who are beginning to arrive in Beijing. The corrupt and toothless IOC is going along with this outrage, but foreign correspondents may prove to be less happy to play ball.
There has always been a kind of naïve arrogance about dictatorships, brilliantly portrayed by George Orwell in 1984 where the officials portray white as black, black as white - war as peace, peace as war. Barefaced lies are presented as Newspeak in a constant insult to intelligence.
We are now seriously expected to swallow China's massive propaganda show and quietly accept the autocratic rules of the regime: shut up and do, write and show what you are told. Confronted with this one has to say that etiquette and not offending one's host is one thing, but turning a blind eye to protest being trampled is quite another.
Tragically, loosening the tight surveillance and learning a few PR basics would produce much more of the desired positive effect for the Chinese. After all, sports commentators are not natural political analysts and everyone, sports people included want nothing more than just getting on with the competitions and enjoy themselves.
But being bossed about and confronted with lies when reality is very different will annoy many. Mobile phones and covert filming will establish the evidence, and it will be beamed around the world by TV stations and YouTube, outside of the control of Chinese officials. The participants of the opening ceremony may face seven years in prison for passing on details, but not the Korean film crew.
Sousveillance of the powerful as democratic counterbalance to the surveillance of the powerless is here to stay. The tables can be turned. Not all is lost.
Renate Ogilvie is a psychotherapist and teacher of Buddhist philosophy.