Press release

Foreign Secretary calls for open internet that spurs economic growth

Foreign Secretary warns that allowing governments exclusive control over the internet would have profound social and economic consequences.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague will give a speech at the opening ceremony of the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013, in South Korea on Thursday 17 October.

The Foreign Secretary will call for countries to address collectively one of the greatest challenges facing our generation: building a new international consensus on the future of cyberspace.

He will argue that allowing governments to exercise exclusive control over the internet’s content and resources would be a drastic error that would have profound social and economic consequences, and that the societies that embrace an open and vibrant internet will be the ones that develop and prosper most in the 21st century.

He will say that we are making progress, including on capacity building to help all states tackle challenges in cyberspace, but that we have still not reached agreement on international ‘rules of the road’ or a set of standards on behaviour. He will urge countries to come together to ensure that the internet is not only secure, but remains an engine for progress the world over.

Read the Foreign Secretary’s speech.

Further information

Other Ministers attending the conference are Rt Hon Francis Maude MP (Minister for the Cabinet Office) and Ed Vaizey MP (Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries).

The Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre was announced by the Foreign Secretary at the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace.

Read the full text of the Chair’s statement from the London Conference on Cyberspace

Speech by Foreign Secretary William Hague at Budapest Conference on Cyberspace

Read more about the Foreign Secretary’s visit to South Korea, Mongolia and Japan

Media enquiries

Published 16 October 2013