e-G8: What will tomorrow’s Internet look like? EPITA was present at the forum.
The event, which brought together leading personalities from the universe of the web, was held at the Tuileries in Paris on May 24 & 25.
The living myths Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Eric Schmidt (Google), John Donahoe (eBay), along with other players of the Internet economy, gathered for the first time in Paris for the e-G8 forum with the participation of French political personalities including Nicolas Sarkozy, Christine Lagarde, Eric Besson and Frédéric Mitterrand. They met to discuss major economic and political issues arising in today’s Internet, a social phenomenon that has become unavoidable and essential. Being the main players of education in the IT domain, the director of EPITA and the vice president of Group IONIS were among the guests.
The meeting, which was to bring out proposals for the digital economy to be presented to the G8, was able to outline the current issues including the regulation of copyrights, Internet neutrality, regulating, as well as expanding access and use of broadband. Here is a look over the issues raised by the forum that will play their role in the future of the Internet:
Copyrights, quarrel of old and modern?
On one side the culture industry and politicians are in favor of better regulation on the copyrights and for a reflection on an expansion of international standards; on the other side, some major players made themselves the champions of deregulation in the name of freedom of expression that the Internet has greatly increased, allowing the free movement of cultural works. According to them, the old system is no longer valid and new forms of remuneration for authors should be developed: the technical transformation necessarily involves a transfer of economic, industrial and normative frameworks.
Net Neutrality threatened?
Whether it’s communication operators, Contend Delivery Networks (CDN) or hosts, the various providers who take care of infrastructure for data exchange are important means of control that should under no circumstances use to promote or discriminate against a user. Net neutrality is indeed a founding principle of freedom of expression on the Internet that excludes any discrimination regarding the source, destination or the information content transmitted over the network. This neutrality is questioned when some of these providers, e.g. Google, are in a situation of virtual monopoly in their field. It also raises the question of the limits of data control that can be imposed by the politicians.
Regulation or self regulation?
On one side the ethical issues of regulation such as the fight against terrorism, the protection of minors, the protection of copyrights and anti-monopolies struggle were highlighted by the politicians, while on the other side manufacturers discussed the risk of drying up of businesses by excessive legislation and the ability of technology to develop its own controls. One possible compromise would be a more flexible legislation on the Internet with regular reviews of the law enabled by an enhanced frequency of meetings between the industrialists and the policy makers. The establishment of the National Digital Council (CNN) by Nicolas Sarkozy opens the way for this type of operation.
The extension of the Internet to a maximum number
The “Third Globalization”, represented by the Internet, asks to minimize the digital divide and expand broadband access to as many people as possible in the name of the principle of equality. This is an issue on which different players gave their accord.