Olympic Committee Vaults over Censorship Controversy

Article excerpt

"There has been no deal with China to censor the Internet," stated International Olympic Committee spokeswoman Giselle Davies according to Associated Press. The controversy began, AP reported on July 31, "when Kevan Gosper, the press commission head of the IOC, said he was surprised to learn that Web sites for Amnesty International along with others ... would be blocked to reporters," and also said he suspected that "an agreement has been reached" with China "by very senior people in the IOC."

When the IOC began taking heat for this supposed collusion, committee president Jacques Rogge stepped in and apparently convinced Gosper otherwise in an August 1 meeting. AP quoted Gosper on August 1 as saying he was now "absolutely satisfied" that there were no arrangements "in respect to censorship for the international press to report on the games."

Gosper may be satisfied, but the August 1 AP story also attributed to him the following statements: "We have always had an understanding, and we haven't necessarily talked about it, that any sovereign government will block pornographic sites and what they might consider subversive, or sites which are contrary to the national interest. I would suggest also that we are not working in a democratic society, we're working in a communist society. …