Facebook Gets Face Time at G8 Summit

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Leaders at the issue-packed G8 Summit, set to begin Wednesday in Deauville, France, will wedge in the topic of the global effects of the Internet. Who better to weigh in on the issue than some of the industry's leading voices?

The New Zealand Herald reports that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, and Tony Wang, Twitter's general manager in Europe, all will address the G8 leaders...by remote, naturally.

This will mark the first time the issue will be on the G8 agenda.

"[French] President [Nicolas] Sarkozy has organized a discussion of the various drivers of the economy, including the Internet, green growth innovation," said Deputy National Security Advisor Mike Froman, "and there will be an opportunity for the leaders to have dialogue with representatives of a conference that will be going on in Paris the day before the G8 of business leaders and others involved in Internet-related issues."

Froman was referring to the 'eG8', a parallel gathering to the annual international policy ritual with the world's richest economies.

The meeting did not reach any conclusions, but reportedly devolved into a debate about keeping the Internet free. Zuckerberg and the others are reportedly going to present each side of that debate to the G8 leaders. However, it's likely that the leaders from the original G8 will attempt to prod more from the discussion, like the use of the Internet in aiding democratic uprisings.

Speaking of the power of technology in a speech in Washington last week, President Obama said, "Satellite television and the Internet provide a window into the wider world -- a world of astonishing progress in places like India and Indonesia and Brazil. Cell phones and social networks allow young people to connect and organize like never before. And so a new generation has emerged. And their voices tell us that change cannot be denied."