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IOC Admits It Knew China Would Censor Internet


The International Olympic Committee has admitted it knew China planned to block some Internet access for journalists covering the Beijing Olympic Games, despite promising media freedom.

IOC spokesman Kevan Gosper said Wednesday some International Olympic Committee officials had negotiated with China that some sensitive Web sites would be blocked because they were not related to the games.

Olympic organizers previously had promised foreign reporters unrestricted media access during the games, from August 8 through August 24.

But foreign journalists in Beijing reported today that they have been unable to access Web sites for the human rights group Amnesty International, the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Amnesty International is appealing to the Beijing and International Olympic committees to fulfill their commitment to full media freedom.

Reporters Without Borders published a guide on the Internet today with tips for journalists working in China. The guide advises how to get around Internet firewalls, and how to lock computer files and find safe translators.

The Paris-based organization advises reporters to conduct phone calls and write e-mails knowing that they may be monitored.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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