The New York Times reports on the G-8 meeting in Europe, which will include discussion of privacy issues:
Leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized countries are set to issue a provocative call for stronger Internet regulation, a cause championed by the host of the meeting, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, but fiercely opposed by some Internet companies and free-speech groups.
The G-8 leaders will urge the adoption of measures to protect children from online predators, to strengthen privacy rights and to crack down on digital copyright piracy, according to two people who have seen drafts of a communiqué the G-8 will issue at the end of a meeting this week in Deauville, France. At the same time, the document is expected to include a pledge to maintain openness and to support entrepreneurial, rather than government-led, development of the Internet. […]
The pre-Deauville meeting in Paris, called the E-G8 Forum, is providing a public window into the debates that have shaped the expected G-8 communiqué — in addition to serving as a soapbox for Mr. Sarkozy as he gears up his campaign for re-election next spring.
Mr. Sarkozy’s push to turn Internet governance into a G-8 issue, elevating it to the level of more traditional topics like trade, currencies, terrorism or climate change, has been applauded by companies in industries like music, which have been ravaged by digital piracy. But it has drawn concern from Internet companies and outright criticism from some people who see a threat to the openness that has characterized the Internet to date, at least in most Western societies. […]
Mr. Sarkozy is not alone in calling existing laws and regulations inadequate to deal with the challenges of a borderless digital world. Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain said this week that he would ask Parliament to review British privacy laws after Twitter users circumvented court orders preventing newspapers from publishing the names of public figures who are suspected of having had extramarital affairs. […]
The G-8 communiqué, which is still being finalized by the G-8 leaders’ sherpas, or policy emissaries, is not expected to contain specific prescriptions like these. Instead, it will include broad pledges to deal with privacy, piracy and child protection, the people with knowledge of the talks said.