France

Oh, Goody–France Is Trying to Civilize the Internet

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Hands off, shorty!

Ars Technica has the details in a story from yesterday:

For some time, French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy has talked about his dream of a "civilized" Internet, but this dream has long been a nightmare for those who worry that "civilization" is really a code for "regulations favorable to big business and the national security state." To make his vision a reality, Sarkozy helped to create this week's e-G8 meeting currently underway in the Tuileries Gardens next door to the Louvre—and the critics are fuming.

"I was invited to the e-G8 and declined," said author and activist Cory Doctorow recently. "I believe it's a whitewash, an attempt to get people who care about the Internet to lend credibility to regimes that are in all-out war with the free, open 'Net. On the other hand, I now have a dandy handwriting sample from Sarkozy should I ever need to establish a graphological baseline for narcissistic sociopathy." […]

So when Sarkozy took the stage of the e-G8 this morning, suspicions about his true motives were already rampant. And he did little to dispel them. […]

What are you doing, Dave?

"You have a tremendous responsibility that weighs upon you," he told the assembled luminaries, who included people like Google's Eric Schmidt, and he demanded that Internet companies join national governments to jointly exercise the responsibilities. "The responsibility has to be shared between you and us." […]

A few samples provide the overall flavor:

* "Although technology in and of itself is neutral, and must remain so, the way that Internet is used is not neutral."
* "The universe that you represent is not a parallel universe which is free of rules of law or ethics or of any of the fundamental principles that must govern and do govern the social lives of our democratic states."
* "Don't forget that behind the anonymous Internet user there is a real citizen living in a real society and a real culture and a nation to which he or she belongs, with its laws and its rules."
* Artists "must not be despoiled of the fruit of their talent. That doesn't simply ruin them, but far worse, it enslaves them."
* Governments "wish to enter into dialogue with you so that we can defend one another's interests."
* "[I am] calling for collective responsibility."
* "What I am calling for is for everyone to be reasonable."

Insert Minitel joke here. Link via Kinsey Holley's Twitter feed.

NEXT: The Story of O

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  1. I guess their first order of business would be removing any and all negative references to Seigneur DSK.

    1. No, Sarkozy is the person that has most profited from DSK’s arrest.

  2. “I believe it’s a whitewash, an attempt to get people who care about the Internet to lend credibility to regimes that are in all-out war with the free, open ‘Net.”– Cory Doctorow

    That’s funny, I feel the same way about the enthusiasm and advocacy of various Internet advocates, including Cory Doctorow, for Obama, especially during 2008. Also, didn’t he already have an Obama handwriting sample?

    1. Isn’t Doctorow also one of the higher-profile NN advocates? Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      1. Yes, well, silly people like Doctorow don’t realize that when they ask the government to step in and enforce “Neutrality,” that the government’s idea of neutrality might be different than their own.

        1. What? Of course, they’ll be completely neutral. What else could that word possibly mean?

          You’re not suggesting that gummint plays favorites or anything like that, are you?

      2. Doctorow is against IP laws but otherwise he is a statist fuck. I could barely finish his last book (which I downloaded for free), all the evil corporashuns causing all teh evil by controlling IP.

      3. Isn’t Doctorow also one of the higher-profile NN advocates? Live by the sword, die by the sword.

        +100

      4. Xeni Jardin on BoingBoing is also a one-woman Obama propaganda department.

    2. The same douche who advocated for Google to be regulated like a public utility now has qualms about internet regulation? Fuck him.

    3. He had an Obama DNA sample, but then he swallowed. Like a gentleman.

  3. “Although technology in and of itself is neutral, and must remain so, the way that Internet is used is not neutral.”

    Mon Dieu, quelle id?otie!

  4. The internets don’t hurt people’s feelings, people hurt people’s feelings.

  5. Come at me, bro

  6. It’s simply impossible for me to gaze upon Sarko and not see him in his traditional mime disguise!

  7. I will not be civilized. LOL

    *slings poop at passerby*

    Jess
    http://www.anon-lol.com

    1. GG Allibot?

      1. (.)(.)

        1. I’ll see your flash, and raise you a moon.

          8=====D
          ( | )

  8. Mmmmm, oui, yes, but we are forgetting perhaps, no, that in France we had the minitel decades before the rest of the world had internet. It is for this fact, is it not, that we can rape not only our chamber maids, with discretion and a civilized hand, no doubt, but our internet users as well.

    1. *orders red wine with fish*

    2. You forgot “I maintain”

    3. Minitel was great for picking up a mistress. Or so I have been told.

  9. Isn’t the “slavery” rhetoric a bit much? Makes me think he’s some kind of extremist nutjob.

  10. mmmmm….. So I don’t have to get rid of my videobox.com subscription?

  11. “What I am calling for is for everyone to be reasonable.”

    There’s that word again. Like a loose tooth you can’t keep jabbing with your tongue.

    1. Yes.
      I’m waiting for Sarkozy’s definition. And waiting…….

  12. Gee, if I didn’t know better, I might think Sarkozy was getting ready to run for reelection.

  13. that dude’s a dirty dick

    1. Who are the Moops?

      1. i don’t know how to answer this question… i’m from charleston, sc but i live in beijing?

  14. A French attack on pr0n, poasting, and p2p! This a-hole and all imitators will fail. Without our liberated internetz we’d have nothing to live for.

  15. I just want to wet my beak.

  16. Please, can’t we let the grownups run the internet?

    They’ve done so well with all the other stuff.

    1. I think we should establish a commission of all the top men from the best schools to decide what we should do about this internet thingy. It worked out so well for all of us when they handled the financial system like that.

  17. How do you say “Fuck off, you prick!” in French?

    1. That’d probably do just fine; he’ll get the point.

    2. “Mercy bow coop see view play, monsewer,” is a somewhat subtle way to say it.

    3. “Ton mere est une salope” would get the general sentiment across.

      1. Ton, not ta?

  18. Governments “wish to enter into dialogue with you so that we can defend one another’s interests.”

    That just made my bullshit detector explode.

    The government exists to protect the interests of its citizens. The citizens have no such obligations to the government, and really, the idea of government interests is pretty creepy.

    1. It’s worse. He was speaking to a select group of corporate executives and power movers.

      So he was interested in what essentially amounts to a public/private partnership where those present defend one another’s interests.

      It’s the sickest of the sick.

  19. The government is going to civilize the Internet? Puh-lease. The government doesn’t civilize anything.

    1. Bullshit. Those DC cocktail parties are plenty civilized.

  20. You’d think Sarkozy would want everyone to maintain access to neekid pictures of his wife, just so he can lord it over the rest of us.

  21. Sarkozy. What a 5’5″ gypsy dwarf.

  22. “What I am calling for is for everyone to be reasonable.”

    Drink?

    1. No you have to parse it correctly.

      Reason-able. Able to subscribe to Reason.

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