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The G8 (Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, Russia, the U.S and U.K) met recently in France to discuss a wide range of topics. One of which was the Internet.

In a rather long statement the 8 countries all agreed that laws apply online the same way they do in the real world.

There is a whole lot said abut a great many things. A lot of it is blatantly obvious but it’s nice to see major World Governments are seeing that we all need to be embracing cloud computing, Social Networking, and Citizen Journalism – safely and sensibly.

Here are a couple of highlights:

Internet Sex Trafficking

18. We call upon all stakeholders to combat the use of Internet for trafficking in children and for their sexual exploitation. We will also work towards developing an environment in which children can safely use the Internet by improving children’s Internet literacy including risk awareness, and encouraging adequate parental controls consistent with the freedom of expression.

Non discrimination and online competition

9. The openness, transparency and freedom of the Internet have been key to its development and success. These principles, together with those of non-discrimination and fair competition, must continue to be an essential force behind its development.

The Law and online rights

10. Their implementation must be included in a broader framework: that of respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the protection of intellectual property rights, which inspire life in every democratic society for the benefit of all citizens. We strongly believe that freedom and security, transparency and respect for confidentiality, as well as the exercise of individual rights and responsibility have to be achieved simultaneously. Both the framework and principles must receive the same protection, with the same guarantees, on the Internet as everywhere else.

Personal privacy and data protection

16. The effective protection of personal data and individual privacy on the Internet is essential to earn users’ trust. It is a matter for all stakeholders: the users who need to be better aware of their responsibility when placing personal data on the Internet, the service providers who store and process this data, and governments and regulators who must ensure the effectiveness of this protection. We encourage the development of common approaches taking into account national legal frameworks, based on fundamental rights and that protect personal data, whilst allowing the legal transfer of data.



p>Check out the whole G8 statement here