WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sen. Sam Brownback says foreign-owned hotels
in China are being threatened with retaliation if they refuse to
install software that can spy on Internet use by hotel guests
attending the Summer Olympics.
Brownback produced a translated version Tuesday of a document from China's Public Security Bureau that requires hotels to use the monitoring equipment.
“I am very disappointed that the Chinese government will not follow through on its promise to the International Olympic Committee to maintain an environment free of government censorship during the Games,” Brownback said in a statement. “The Chinese government has put in place a system to spy on and gather information about every guest at hotels where Olympic visitors are staying. This means journalists, athletes’ families and other visitors will be subjected to invasive intelligence gathering by the Chinese Public Security Bureau.”
Brownback said several international hotel chains confirmed receiving the order from China's Public Security Bureau.
The request puts the hotels in a bind. Hotel owners don't want to comply with the order, but they also don't want to jeopardize
their expanding business in China.
The hotel chains that forwarded the order to Brownback are declining to reveal their identities for fear of reprisal.
“The hotels have asked us to preserve their anonymity; in order to protect their safety, and in return for their courage in coming forward, I cannot divulge their identities," Brownback said. "These hotels are justifiably outraged. On the other hand, these hotel chains have invested millions of dollars in their Chinese properties, and while they wish to find a way to reverse this order, if they are specifically identified, they could face severe retaliation by the Communist government.”