Chinese authorities confirmed yesterday that the 20,000 foreign journalists covering the Olympic Games will not have unrestricted access to the Internet during their stay. Kevin Gosper, the head of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) press commission, admitted today: "I also now understand that some IOC officials negotiated with the Chinese that some sensitive sites would be blocked on the basis they were not considered games related."
Yesterday Gosper said the IOC's key concern was to "ensure that the media are able to report on the games as they did in previous games."
Reporters Without Borders comdemned the IOC acceptance of the fact the Chinese authorities are blocking access to certain Web sites at the Olympic Games media center in Beijing.
"Yet another broken promise," the press freedom organization said. "Coming just nine days before the opening ceremony, this is yet another provocation by the Chinese authorities. This situation increases our concern that there will be many cases of censorship during the games. We condemn the IOC's failure to do anything about this, and we are more than sceptical about its ability to 'ensure' that the media are able to report freely."
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