eG8: Sarkozy talks up government's role in regulating the internet

By Derek du Preez
24 May 2011 View Comments
French president Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told the heads of Google, Microsoft and Facebook that the internet is not a place where the "principles that govern society in democratic countries do not apply".

Sarkozy addressed the internet giants at an eG8 forum being held in Paris, two days ahead of the formal G8 event.

Further reading

The role of the internet, its regulation, and its impact on the global economy are likely to be the focus of discussion.

"Now that the internet is an integral part of most people's lives, it would be contradictory to exclude governments from this huge forum," said Sarkozy in his opening address.

"Nobody could, nor should, forget that these governments are the only legitimate representatives of the will of the people in our democracies," he added.

"To forget this is to take the risk of democratic chaos and hence anarchy."

The French President also went on to tell delegates that their level of responsibility is "undoubtedly the highest ever given to individuals who do not work in the public sector or as state representatives".

However, he reaffirmed that the role of government is "no less important".

Sarkozy called on the internet companies at the event to share knowledge and ideas with government heads, so that States do not miss out on important opportunities.

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