The internet's role as a major growth and innovation driver for the global economy, based on the principles of openness, transparency and freedom, was recognised in the G8 summit's so-called Deauville Declaration, entitled "Renewed commitment for freedom and democracy". The document's internet section sets out basic principles and highlights areas where further collaborative efforts are needed. It highlights the importance of the internet in helping to achieve economic and social development goals, calling on the private sector to do its part.
The G8 leaders consulted some of the biggest online players and heard representations from NGOs advocating personal freedoms and underling the internet's ability to balance and check the powers of governments and corporations. Their positions are set out in Section II of the document, which addresses issues such as the rule of law, protection of intellectual property, transparency and respect for confidentiality, individual rights and responsibility, arbitrary or indiscriminate censorship or restrictions on access, the role of national governments and the convergence of public policies. Upcoming forums for international cooperation in these areas this year include a high level meeting of the OECD in Paris (June), the UN's Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya (September), the Cyber Conference in London and the Conference on Copyright in Avignon, France (both November).