Monday, May 23, 2011

e-G8: the "civilized Internet" Internet "growth factor"

"You can not imagine what it represented as a force of conviction to convince eight heads of state and government to discuss the issue of the Internet. There were those who were passionate about the Internet but asked, 'if we talk, they will think we want to regulate them ". When details, April 27, his project "G8 of the Internet" or "e-G8," Nicolas Sarkozy does not think so right.

The summit, held in Paris, Tuesday 24 and Wednesday, May 25, provoked an outcry. Among the thousand guests are expected including the CEOs of the largest Web companies: Facebook, Google, Capgemini, or the ministers Christine Lagarde, Eric Besson, Frédéric Mitterrand, and Nicolas Sarkozy himself.

Squaring the Net, a community activist for a free and open Internet, sees the summit "a smokescreen to hide the increased government control over the Internet." With other advocacy organizations surfers, as the collective Telecomixou the German Chaos Computer Club, they have established a platform to accommodate posters, denouncing embezzlement and creations of governments increasing stranglehold on the Web.

Why these fears? In addition to laws Hadopi (illegal downloads) and Loppsi (blocking child pornography sites without permission from a judge), activists for freedom of expression on the Internet rely on the statements of Nicolas Sarkozy, in January, when the first mention of an "e-G8. "I think the time has come now to trust each other and build a model by adding our skills, listening to the voice of the major operators of the Internet, which I am sure they are deeply responsible and they listen to what we tell them to find a path to a civilized Internet ", then explained the president.

The concept of "civilized Internet", with blurred, fears the militants to free speech that Paris is seeking to impose on the international agenda, the establishment of surveillance systems, a concern reinforced Friday by the revelation of the refusal by Nicolas Sarkozy in the organization of a forum dedicated to freedom of expression intended by Bernard Kouchner.

"FOOD FOR THOUGHT" G8 For Maurice Lévy, Publicis CEO, responsible for organizing the e-G8, it is a non-debate. In an article published Monday on the site of Publicis, Mr. Levy describes what he calls the emergence of generation G4, for "global, Google, generous and environmentalist (Green).

"It is perhaps for the first time since the 1960s, a generation who feels affected by the state of the world and wants to set priorities for those currently in power." "Their commitment," the CEO of Publicis, "is probably the reason why they wonder if there is a conspiracy to kill the free internet.

But, ironically, the very idea of e-forum G8 wanted by President Sarkozy is to promote open discussion among people from the world of the Internet, so that they can influence the G8 in the debate by Heads of State. " Precisely therein lies the problem, consider other organizations, including the Internet Governance Caucus (IGC): the Internet is by nature international, should not a small group of countries assumes that decisions will then be imposed on others, she believes.

In an open letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, Amnesty International is concerned that the e-G8 "throw overboard the principle of multi-stakeholder participation that has developed worldwide, especially in the area of Internet governance" . The CSI, it is anomalous that the forum is "organized by the private sector and that access is given only to private corporate actors and governments.

We also understand that there is a link between sponsors and invitations. "Indeed, among the twelve private sponsors who fund the entire event (Orange, Vivendi, eBay, Google, Capgemini, Iliad Free Foundation, Microsoft, Alcatel -Lucent, Eutelsat, Thomson-Reuters, Huawei, Hewlett-Packard), only two did not participate in conferences and debates, Huawei and Hewlett-Packard.

The detailed program suggests the presence of some "big names" of civil society, whose founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, the law professor Lawrence Lessig, or the Egyptian activist Nadine Wahab, but representatives of associations, political or university will be far outnumbered by business leaders for a summit placed firmly under the sign of economic growth.

Initially described as a place to be "civilized", the Internet has become, in the presentation materials of the forum, a "growth accelerator".

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