Internet industry seen as winner at global conference in Brazil
By Esteban Israel
SAO PAULO, April 24 (Reuters) - Big Internet companies were the clear winners at a global conference hosted by Brazil on the future management of the Web where most participants agreed it should remain a self-regulated space free of government intervention.
Convened by President Dilma Rousseff after revelations of U.S. surveillance undermined trust in the Internet, the NETmundial conference concluded that governments, companies, academics, technicians and users should all have a say in where to go next.
That is exactly what companies such as Google or Facebook say is essential to spur innovation, expand the boundaries of the Internet and keep their businesses growing.
"Our focus is on making sure the Net stays free and open," said Ross LaJeunesse, Google's head of international relations.
"The meeting was generally very good because it recognized the power of the multistakeholder approach and talked about human rights and the importance of innovation," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the event.
Companies had voiced concern about governments using the NETmundial meeting to push for regulation and interference that could inhibit investment and ultimately harm Internet users.
NETmundial called for less a U.S.-centric Internet, but it steered clear of granting governments greater control over the net, as Russia and China were pushing for.
"There was a lot of anxiety going into this meeting by all of the groups," said David Gross, a lawyer representing a coalition of companies including Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Telefónica SA. Continuación...