With the first e-G8 meeting this week, we suspected that Internet issues would come up at the real G8 conference attended by world leaders. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is known for his desire to “tame” the web, which he sees as a threat to content owners. Imagine our surprise when a memo leaked to the Financial Times indicated wide support of the principals of freedom that made the Internet the force for good it has thus far been.
The document affirms the important role the web will play in the future of democracy in both developed and developing nations. Other statements call for faster deployment of fiber optic cables to expand access. Happily, the document roundly dismissed any kind of Internet censorship. In fact, it says every nation should work to keep the web “open”. There is even an admission that some of the archaic provisions of copyright law may need to change with the times.
Mark Zuckerberg was on hand to argue against any shift to strong privacy rules that would hamper the efforts of social networking sites like Facebook. When CUNY’s Jeff Jarvis called on Sarkozy to pledge to “ Do no harm ” during the e-G8, we really didn’t think he was listening. Perhaps he got the same message from other world leaders. This leaked memo is far from an official statement, but it makes us feel just a little hopeful.