In Paris, today, French president Nicolas Sarkozy rubbed shoulders with tech industry superstars, including Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg, for the inaugural eG-8 meeting. The two-day event intends to prime the conversation at the Group of Eight summit set to take place later this week in Normandy. Sarkozy took a hard line in urging governments to better regulate the internet. "Don't let the revolution that you've begun threaten everyone's basic right to a private life and full autonomy," he told the conferences attendees. "Full transparency… sooner or later runs into the very principle of individual freedom."
Facebook saw this coming a mile away. Over the past few months, the Palo Alto company has been hiring out a global policy team to act as ambassadors for Facebook's interests abroad. "This is the right investment for us to make because we want to have better relationships with regulators and policymakers across Europe and around the world," Debbie Frost told Silicon Valley's Mercury News. "It's important that we have a presence, so people can have a direct line into Facebook." That presence will span the globe, but the recruiting of directors is assertively focused on Europe and the Middle East. The company wants privacy experts with sterling credentials. "Facebook wants a person comfortable with politicians at the most senior levels of government, who has experience as a media spokesperson, preferably on both radio and TV; and of course, has 'a passionate belief' in Facebook," reports the Mercury News, who are calling the new global team members "diplomats." The strategy makes sense--over 70 percent of Facebook's 600 million users live outside the United States.