The world’s first ever e-G8 forum is taking place in Paris, with the technology industry’s leading lights all present. The main area of discussion – internet regulation.
Unlike Google and Twitter who favour a hands-off approach, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who opened the two day event, called for tighter state control of the web.
Sarkozy said: ‘‘The world you represent is not a parallel universe where legal and moral rules and more generally all the basic rules that govern society in democratic countries do not apply.’‘
Such a debate has hit the headlines this week in Britain after thousands of Twitter users made a mockery of court injunctions obtained by the rich and famous to hush up scandals.
Some say governments and companies don’t have the same ideas of what web regulation means.
“We’ve been trying to civilise cyberspace for 22 years and I think we may have different notions of what that means. We think that civilisation implies liberty, implies openness, implies, to the extent possible, minimal regulation,” John Perry Barlow from Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
National laws to control the internet for the moment, however, look limp.
Even if common international rules could be agreed upon, analysts say policing such a system would be fraught with difficulties.