[IRP] Update from civil society action at the e-G8

Lisa Horner LisaH
Wed May 25 18:39:35 EEST 2011

...from Access, RSF and others... well done them.


Civil society speaks out, condemns attempts to regulate Internet
Civil society representatives gave an unofficial news conference this morning in one of the conference rooms of the ?e-G8? forum on Internet issues in Paris, voicing their opposition to attempts to regulate the Internet and criticizing the lack of representativeness of most of those who were invited by the French government to take part in the forum.

Participants in the news conference ? improvised at the last minute and not part of the forum?s official programme ? included Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-Fran?ois Julliard, J?r?mie Zimmerman of the French NGO Quadrature du Net, former ICANN board member Susan Crawford, US journalist Jeff Jarvis and Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig, a specialist in copyright.

Jarvis said he was ?scared by those who are scared of the Internet.? Julliard said he was ?extremely disappointed? by the course taken by discussions during the e-G8 forum, including the lack of a strongly-worded message to governments that target journalists, bloggers and cyber-dissidents.

?The free Internet must be defended before thought is given to regulating content,? Julliard said. ?The priority for G8 governments should be defending the Internet.?

Julliard made similar comments when he took part in a panel discussion today on ?Electronic Liberty: New Tools for Freedom,? an official part of the forum?s programme. Other participants included Google representatives, Alec Ross of the US State Department, and journalists and activists from the Arab world.

?The G8 should say clearly that Internet access is a fundamental human right, before discussing anything else, whether economic development or copyright issues,? Julliard said.

He also accused certain democracies of saying one thing and doing another. He cited the US administration?s actions as regards WikiLeaks but said other democracies did not lag far behind. ?It is easy to defend freedom of speech in Syria, but we should defend it in Italy, Australia and France as well.?

Some press to date:








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