G8 to back 'government role' in Internet: draft

26th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The G8 summit in France will agree government has a role in "creating an environment in which the Internet can flourish in a balanced manner", according to a draft statement Thursday.

The proposed final statement for the two-day meeting, seen by AFP, says the private sector must remain the driving force behind the online economy and emphasises the need for openness, transparency and free expression.

But, in line with G8 host President Nicolas Sarkozy's drive for rules for a "civilised Internet" it also calls for the "respect for the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the protection of intellectual property."

France hosted a so-called "e-G8" on Tuesday and Wednesday in Paris, a gathering of the biggest names in the online industry to discuss ways of regulating the Internet without killing its economic potential.

Some G8 countries such as the United States are wary of international regulation of such a vibrant sector, and many web-users attacked Sarkozy's initiative, suspecting a covert bid to censor or control the freewheeling web.

© 2011 AFP

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