Minister John Manley
Mr. John Manley said in his opening remarks he is delighted to be here at the GILC conference and welcomed the attendees in his constituency in Ottawa. According to Manley, the OECD is holding a Ministerial meeting for the first time outside Paris and applauded the opportunity for business, regulators and NGOs to discuss important matters on electronic commerce during the OECD Ministerial Conference. "There needs to be a co-operation between various parties on Internet related issues" stated Manley.
Manley stated that general laws of the land do apply to the Internet, as well as his belief that there is no need to regulate the Internet. Just because the Internet is a new medium, he stated, does not mean that it needs new regulations, and the currently available laws such as those Canadians have adopted to deal with the Internet. Manley stated that he shares the Canadian citizens' concerns about the Internet content and a lot of these issues will also be discussed during the OECD Ministerial conference.
"Building trust in the Information age is important" and security, privacy and consumer protection are on the agenda during the Ministerial conference. Another important issue is the development of a global marketplace for e-commerce. E-commerce begins with global transactions on a medium which does not recognise any borders. Therefore taxation is one of the key issues to be dealt during the OECD meeting in Ottawa.
What roles are to play for business and regulators questioned Manley. Access to the Internet and privacy are very important issues to be dealt with and therefore it is very important to include the voices of NGOs. Manley stated that the GILC conference presents an excellent opportunity to bring diverse public interest groups together in a structured forum to discuss the development of global policy for electronic commerce."
According to Manley, the GILC concerns have been heard by the OECD ministers and there is a link between the two conferences and the OECD conference should benefit from a diversity of voices regardless of frontiers.
In his conclusion Mr Manley emphasised the importance of a "global village", and showed his desire to have a "cyber marketplace" which is available to wealthy and poor. "We gather from many countries to develop e-commerce in the global village. Our challenge is much broader today. Access to the Internet should be available to all and at a stage where half of the world population did not make a telephone call, this remains a very important challenge for consumers and suppliers."
Mr Manley will be chairing the OECD Ministerial conference in Ottawa which will start tomorrow on October 8.
"The Public Voice in the Development of Internet Policy"
October 7, 1998 Global Internet Liberty Campaign