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Governments must not censor internet, says William Hague

The Guardian - Foreign secretary, in challenge to China and Russia, tells cyber summit global treaties to police web would be counter-productive.

The UK has issued a direct challenge to China and Russia over regulation of the internet, with William Hague insisting that cyberspace must not be "stifled by government control or censorship".

In a strongly worded opening address to an international conference hosted in London, the foreign secretary told delegates that the internet "must remain open and not become ghettoised" – rebuffing the notion that new international treaties were needed to police online activity.

"Nothing would be more fatal or self-defeating than the heavy hand of state control on the internet, which only thrives because of the talent of individuals and of industry within an open market for ideas and innovation," he said.