France lobbies G8 for Internet control and censorship

Sarkozy's French government is hosting an "EG8" summit on Internet policy and have invited lots of technical people to attend in the guise of coming up with recommendations on Internet governance. But as documents reveal, the Sarkozy agenda is control and censorship. Jeremie from La Quadrature du Net sez,
A detailed analysis of exchanges between the French President and his former Minister of Foreign Affairs on G8 related matters appears in tomorrow's edition of the French magazine Marianne. La Quadrature du Net has had access to sources that confirm the existence of a control-oriented policy, explicitly hostile to the support to the freedom of expression on the Internet, in blatant contrast with the farcical 'G8 forum' smokescreen. Governments must be made accountable for the positions they take on these issues when they speak behind close doors.

"The Elysee (French Presidency) does not want to hear anything about cyberdissidents or freedom of expression, it wants 'control'." - Frederic Martel, Marianne, 21-27 May 2011 (about the reasons behind the cancellation of a pre-G8 international conference on freedom of expression online)

This conclusion, based on factual evidence, confirms what we have claimed for months now: despite public statements that try to conceal it and the staged smokescreen of the "eG8 forum", the French presidency of the G8 has constantly tried to prevent any statement that would declare the Internet as a universal space of freedom and an essential tool for democracy, or that would promote adequate protection against online censorship and control.

This policy directly originated from the French presidency, and was imposed on the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Other G8 governments (and not just Russia) also support control and restriction to free online communications, though they have not be caught in the act in such an obvious manner.

All the G8 documents must be made public, as well as each country's position on Internet freedoms or control issues. Freedom of expression and democracy can not be sacrificed for the benefit of some economic or political self-serving interests.

France's G8 Focuses on Control and Restrictions to Online Freedoms (Thanks, Jeremie!)


  1. Sarkozy seems to be doing his best to combine the delightsome fun of corporate oligarchy with the fine French traditions of the Lettre de cachet and Imprimatur.

  2. So shall we enact our usual strategy, where waves upon waves of peaceful protesters show up to the location of the summit, only to be not allowed within blocks of it, and then to be arrested and brutalized anyway, with practically no media coverage?

  3. Sorry to bitch about this, but I was just wondering what it was meant to signify. if anything…..

  4. druse : I guess it was meant for people who don’t know who Sarkozy is. Although the “France” part of the headline might have been enough to clue them in.

    *sigh* not a very good week for my country, all in all. First the most popular candidate of the Left (well, left-ish) gets arrested for rape, and now this. I promise, we’re not all assholes !

    (although most of our politicians are. But I guess that’s more or less the same everywhere).

    1. Don’t worry, I don’t think you’re all assholes ;-) BTW, I’m Dutch, and the current political climate here doesn’t make me a xenophobic booger.

      @Anon: True dat.

  5. In France, there was a very interesting blog made by the french linguist Jean Veronis. He wrote a book about Nicolas speeches. In 2007, with statistical methods he determined how many speeches were written by his Ghostwriter Henri Guaino. He made recently a database with the speeches of all french politicians. You can see the opinions of Nicolas Sarkozy about the Internet. There is an idea quite “bizarre” that emerged during his last speeches : the idea of a “civilized” internet (Internet civilisé). I Learned by an article from “Le Monde” that the RIAA love that idea.

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