Olympics: IOC says Internet access ‘on the table’

Facing massive outcry over Internet restrictions at the Olympic press center, the International Olympic Committee says it met today with Beijing organizers and that “the issues were put on the table.”

In a statement issued this afternoon, the IOC says it has not made any deal that allows Internet restrictions to be imposed at the Main Press Center in Beijing. It says the IOC has been encouraged by past assurances from Chinese organizers that the media would be given “the fullest access possible” and that “we trust them to keep their promise.” Here is the statement in full:

The IOC has always encouraged the Beijing 2008 organisers to provide media with the fullest access possible to report on the Olympic Games, including access to the internet.

In light of internet access problems which were experienced this week by media in the Olympic Games Main Press Centre in Beijing, the IOC – namely Chairman of the Beijing 2008 IOC Coordination Commission Hein Verbruggen and Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli – held meetings and discussions today with Games organizers (BOCOG) and Chinese authorities.

The issues were put on the table and the IOC requested that the Olympic Games hosts address them. We understand that BOCOG will give details to the media very soon of how the matter has been addressed. We trust them to keep their promise.

The IOC would like to stress that no deal with the Chinese authorities to censor the internet has ever in any way been entered into.