In an open letter to the Financial Times, Vodafone’s CEO Vittorio Colao has addressed recent comments made by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and ultimately calls for tougher rules to govern the cyberweb.
Sarkozy recently called for the internet to be “civilised", while Zuckerberg firmly believes regulation is a bad thing. Colao initially suggests that both parties make valid points, saying: “Mr Zuckerberg’s vision of an unrestrained internet is indeed what societies need to produce entrepreneurship, growth and innovation.
“But Mr Sarkozy is also right that everything we do online depends on the precious commodity of trust. If electronic commerce is to flourish and more jobs are to be created, we all need to feel that we can trust those we deal with and that the law will protect our trust.”
However, as the letter continues, Colao increasingly sides with Sarkozy, adding: “Mr Zuckerberg argues that there are already many self-governing mechanisms for building and maintaining trust (Ebay, Amazon and Wikipedia are all good examples).
“But the media report every day on threats or infringements of individual rights, often of the most vulnerable in society. So Mr Sarkozy is really right to argue that realising the full potential of the internet will also require an effective legal framework and that self-regulation will not be enough.”
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been tasked with overseeing net neutrality in the UK, and recently voiced his concerns about introducing regulations, telling the BBC: "Once you allow the state in, you open the door to all sorts of regulation of the internet controls on content creation.”