Facebook, Google and other technology companies have called on governments to guarantee internet access in a meeting with G8 leaders meeting in France.
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The internet bosses warned the G8 leaders to tread carefully in attempting to police the web, according to the Financial Times.
The meeting comes as governments in the US and UK consider schemes to force internet companies to block websites that facilitate online piracy.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said planned rules on copyright or privacy could inhibit innovation and free expression.
In turn, French president Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured), who supports the proposed new rules, called on the internet leaders to support greater rule of law on the web without harming innovation.
The proposals put to the G8 were based on discussions in Paris earlier this week at e-G8, a meeting of internet entrepreneurs and policymakers convened by Nicolas Sarkozy.
A draft G8 final declaration calls for governments to take a role in creating an environment in which the internet can flourish in a balanced manner, according to AFP reports.
The draft G8 final declaration says the private sector must remain the driving force behind the online economy and emphasises the need for openness, transparency and free expression. But the G8 draft statement also calls for the respect for the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the protection of intellectual property.