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'Paris in the Spring' gains a new and unromantic meaning as President Sarkozy plots Internet blocking discussions with other G8 heads of government. 


France's President Sarkozy, in Washington for  talks this week with Barack Obama, has said he wants to put an extra item on the agenda of the next G8 economic talks,  which he will host  in Paris this Spring.  That extra item is the Internet, and the meeting is being dubbed the ‘G8 du Web'.  


The idea is to have private,

high-level,  inter-governmental talks, in an attempt to work out a global strategy for Internet regulation.  


Sources close to the Elysee Palace appear to have gone out of their way to stress that Sarkozy is only talking about ‘regulation' of the Internet, and not about blocking it. But the two examples which are being put on the agenda  for discusssion - terrorism and pedophilia - will of course automatically generate discussions about blocking.


According to an AFP report , Sarkozy wants his G8 colleagues to reflect on issues concerning regulation of the Internet and the World Wide Web, such as:

"How should we regulate the Internet, how should we respond to the problem of terrorism, of pedophilia, and subjects such as the right to be forgotten?"


The AFP report quotes sources at the Elysee Palace as saying:

"It's not about curbing the liberty of the Internet, the conditions for its development,... it is on the contrary to see how one can regulate this virtual city without denying the opportunity of the Internet".


However, it's also reported in the French media (PC Inpact ) that the discussions will encompass intellectual property.

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The G8 du Web  conference will take place at Deauville, Paris, on 26-27 May.



This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2011) Sarkozy wants  Internet  (blocking)  talks at G8 12 January 2011

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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