From William Hague & Janos Martonyi, the New Atlanticist: The global economic climate means we must work harder to maintain and enhance the benefits of the internet for all. And as cybercrime increases we must work together to address a threat that does not recognise national borders, is costing the world economy billions of Euros every year and the numbers and sophistication of cyber attacks on national infrastructures is rising all the time. We should not ignore this, just as we should not try to shackle transparency, open information and the free exchange of ideas.
These are what have made the internet such a success and inspired such innovation. It should be a space which is not stifled by government control or censorship; one where innovation and competition flourish across national borders; where investment and enterprise are rewarded; where information is shared easily, and where human rights carry the same force online as they do offline.
The Budapest Conference is a chance to review the international debate on how to achieve this delicate balancing act and ensure that critical work done in a variety of fora is co-ordinated. . . .
Among more than 600 expected participants will be senior representatives from international and regional organisations, the business community, civil society and academia. Bringing together such a wide group of leaders will enable us to discuss and agree the key principles that we can use to drive the myriad of detailed working level meetings and conferences that will take place during the next year. It is crucial that we maximise the synergies and cooperation between the public and private sectors. . . .
We call on governments, international organisations, civil society and industry experts to take responsibility for making the world, virtual and real, a freer and safer place as we address one of the great challenges of our time.
The writers are Foreign Secretary of Britain and Hungary respectively. This piece originally appeared in The Independent.