Senators write to IOC on China's spying

July 31, 2008 at 7:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- Two U.S. senators called on the International Olympic Committee Thursday to abandon an Internet censorship agreement it reportedly reached with China.

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and James Inhofe, R-Okla., said reports of such a deal were disturbing and demanded the IOC provide open Internet access to media covering the Beijing Olympics, The Hill reported Thursday.

"Censorship is anathema to the very spirit of the Olympic Games, which celebrates diversity, emphasizes mutual respect and demands dispassionate, unadulterated representation of each competition," the senators wrote to IOC President Jacques Rogge.

The letter followed by a day the introduction of a resolution by Republican Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Jim Bunning of Kentucky calling on Chinese government to suspend its plans to spy on visitors to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Brownback earlier this week said China's government asked international hotel chains to install computer software and hardware that would allow real-time monitoring of Internet activity of journalists and visitors.

"China had promised to provide media covering the games with the same access and freedoms enjoyed at all other Olympic Games," Inhofe and Brown said. "The IOC cannot sacrifice the Olympic ideals in the name of harmony with its host city."

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