LISBON, Portugal, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Facebook VP of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg called on US President-elect Joe Biden to stamp American influence on the “struggle for supremacy” of the global internet
  • Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said the Chinese internet is “based on a completely different set of values” to its western counterpart, saying that President-elect Biden needs to work closely with the European Union and India on internet policy
  • Clegg joined European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and tennis star Serena Williams at 100,000-attendee online conference Web Summit.

Facebook VP of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg today called on US President-elect Joe Biden to exert American influence on the global internet by working with the European Union and India. Clegg made the remarks at the 100,000-attendee Web Summit – the largest tech conference in the world.

Clegg spoke about what he considers the different values defining internet infrastructure across the world, saying:

“The reality is the global internet doesn’t exist. It simply doesn’t exist. We have a Chinese internet, which is based on a completely different set of values, in effect. Remarkably enough, no one thought 15 years ago this was possible – building a wall around the internet [and enacting] very heavy surveillance. You don’t have all the checks and balances of data protection, privacy law, and so on.

“Then you have, here in Silicon Valley, these companies which have pioneered an open, seamless approach to the internet, which has been adopted by very many parts of the world. But you see, in cases like Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam, there’s this accelerating move to almost emulate the more insular approach,” said Clegg.

Clegg, who was formerly the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister of the UK – while Biden was the US vice president – said that the United States needs to find common internet policy cause with the European Union and India.

“From Joe Biden’s point of view, there is a fundamental question, which is, what can he do to exercise American leadership to reinforce and buttress the open internet, because I think there really are basically two paradigms now struggling for supremacy in terms of how the internet is architected.

“As someone who was in politics for 20 years, someone who worked for many years very closely with Joe Biden himself, I think what will occur to him and his advisers is that America will be best placed to exert its own influence in this space by doing so hand-in-glove, particularly, with the European Union and India.

“If American thought leadership and policy leadership can really work more cooperatively with the Europeans and the Indians on the future governance of the internet, which of course is something which just hasn’t happened in recent years, I think that probably would be the most effective [course of action] from [Biden’s] point of view,” said Clegg.

About Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg joined Facebook in 2018 as VP of global affairs and communications. He served as deputy prime minister of the UK from 2010 to 2015. Prior to his election to UK Parliament in 2005, he served for five years as a member of the European Parliament.

About Web Summit

In the words of Inc. Magazine, “Web Summit is the largest technology conference in the world”. Forbes says Web Summit is “the best tech conference on the planet”, Bloomberg calls it “Davos for geeks”, Politico “the Olympics of tech”, and the Guardian “Glastonbury for geeks”.

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SOURCE Web Summit

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