Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sarkozy meets the internet

On the second day of Le Web 3, a conference in Paris for blogging/internet media, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the audience on the importance of the internet and of its dangers. Here's a rundown from the BBC:

Nicolas Sarkozy, the second most powerful French politician and a presidential hopeful, just addressed our conference about the internet.

Most of the people I've spoken to just want the previously advertised conference back. In fact, it's all people are talking about, at least those sitting around me.

Mr Sarkozy railed against racist hate speech on the internet and said that freedom of speech can be taken too far and said, "I'm not afraid of the word 'internet regulation'."

He spoke a lot about his hatred and concern about racist hate speech being posted and disseminated online.

He said there is a need for internet users to "obey rules" saying that there need to be laws to "make sure that racists can't use the internet to disseminate their views... the internet represents and opportunity to help all the people of the world, of shared values".

"Let's make the internet continent something that brings people together, not divides them."

After Mr Sarkozy left, so did about a quarter of the people here. I hadn't noticed just how many mainstream press, security and other Sarkozy hang-arounds had briefly been in attendance.

It looks like Mr. Cop and Mr. Capitalist wishes to impose his ideas for France on the French internet. Encouraging French entrepreneurs to harness the internet is obviously a good plan, but he might find that regulating speech on the net is bit tougher than the "scum" on the street.

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