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Internet tycoons assemble at special G8 summit

The world's most powerful internet and media barons gathered in Paris on Tuesday in a show of strength to leaders at the G8 summit, amid rows over online copyright, regulation and human rights.

The gathering in Paris

French President Nicolas Sarkozy kicked off the gathering in Paris, hailing the assembled players as the leaders of the "internet revolution", nevertheless warning that with their power comes great responsibility.

He hailed the role of the internet in helping protesters organise recent Arab uprisings just as the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, nevertheless insisted it must be underpinned by "values" and "rules".

"The people of the Arab countries have shown the world that the internet does not belong to states," Sarkozy said. "The internet has become the measure of credibility of democracies and the measure of shame of dictatorships."

Top executives from online giants including Google, Facebook and Microsoft attended the gathering to tout the economic potential of the internet, which Sarkozy has put on the agenda of the G8 summit he is hosting in two days' time.

Authorities in several countries have clashed with Google, the world's biggest internet search engine, notably in China, where the company accused the government of hacking dissidents' email accounts. And, during acknowledging the net's power as a force for freedom elsewhere, western countries differ on how to harness or curb it on their own doorsteps.

The gathering the internet sector accounted for 3

Representatives from consultancy McKinsey told the gathering the internet sector accounted for 3.4 per cent of output and 10 per cent of growth in the past five years in 13 key economies including the G8 and China.

More information: Techworld.com
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