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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

UK Foreign Secretary Defended Freedom Of Internet

William Hague has been calling for a worldwide consensus on online freedom at the Cyber Conference, thus opposing the government control of the web.


Despite the suggestions at a COBRA meeting to block social networks during the summer riots in the United Kingdom, William Hague demanded less intrusion and filtering of the Internet. He said they rejected the point of view that government suppression of the web, phone networks and social media during civil unrest are somehow acceptable. Instead, he pointed out that they should go further and turn this concept down to a suggestion that behaviour unacceptable offline should also be unacceptable online, regardless of whether it’s carried out by individuals or governments.

The Foreign Secretary even took a swipe at countries where state intrusion and online filtering is rife. This was made despite earlier calls of UK hypocrisy over the country’s own monitoring of the web. Hague admitted that this was not a point view shared by all nations, failing to mention other Cabinet members for that matter. He also pointed out that the states will soon find it harder to make any attempts to restrict their people’s demands for online freedom.

Instead, he called for aspiring to a future for Internet not stifled by state control or filtering. At the same time, William Hague warned of the threat of cyber attacks, claiming that the United Kingdom is currently increasing its defences during a 4-year program aided with government funding, designed for building a “cyber security infrastructure”. Indeed, for the private sector this means piling extra costs because of Internet crimes or outfits being held to ransom by hackers. In addition, the investments flow away from the country if is considered insecure.

As for the government, it could also suffer from “critical” threats to infrastructure, as well as loss in tax revenue. The state should also fear defrauding of its services, and theft of sensitive data of national importance. That’s why the UK Foreign Secretary called on all governments to join in this innovative model for web governance, which includes acting within international legislation; ensuring access to the web everywhere and respecting privacy rights. William Hague believes that achieving such a consensus between governments would be a great challenge.

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