Internet’s freedom must be protected says William Hague
DEMOCRATIC governments must protect the freedom of the internet – even when it provokes crises like the anti-Islamic video, Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday.
• Speaking at a cyberspace conference William Hague warned of the threat to freedom of expression from internet censorship
• The Foreign Secretary acknowledged difficulties caused by the US-made video depicting the Prophet Mohammed that sparked riots across the Muslim world
• Mr Hague announced UK to establish £2 million cyber security centre
Addressing an international cyberspace conference in Budapest, he said states should always “err on the side of freedom”, even when they found online content offensive.
Mr Hague acknowledged the difficulties caused by postings such as the amateur trailer made in the United States portraying the Prophet Mohammad as a womaniser and a fool. It was, he said, a “contemptible piece of work”.
He warned, however, that attempts by governments to block access were doomed to failure. “We believe that efforts to suppress the internet are wrong and are bound to fail.”
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