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Fiji Time: 1:00 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Web access debate rages on globally

Sherita Sharma
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THE argument whether the internet should be governed for the purpose of protecting private and national interests or letting people have free access to information without any bounds is escalating.

"There is a raging debate globally as how internet should be used in a country and what kind of controls should governments have over what is published online," says BrightPath Foundation executive director Bevil Wooding.

"As internet continues to grow in significance, you will see a number of governments around the world being cautious, saying certain things have to be protected in the national interest. And the line between what protecting national interest is and free speech is becoming increasingly blurred."

Defining internet governance as the breadth of consideration in managing the internet in any jurisdiction from privacy to security to local content development, Mr Wooding said internet governance was necessary for people to leverage the internet properly.

"You have this tension growing between governments and internet companies and even internet users about what is appropriate online," Mr Wooding said.