However, Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, warned that ill-advised interventions posed their own risks. The event comes a day after intelligence agency GCHQ warned that cyberattacks on the UK were at "disturbing" levels.
Experts attending the two-day conference include EU digital supremo Neelie Kroes, Cisco's vice-president Brad Boston and Joanna Shields, a senior executive at Facebook. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been due to attend, but cancelled the trip on Monday night after her 92-year-old mother fell ill. Mr Hague led the opening session. "We want to widen the pool of nations and cyberusers that agree with us about the need for norms of behaviour, and who want to seek a future cyberspace based on opportunity, freedom, innovation, human rights and partnership, between government, civil society and the private sector," he said. However Mr Wales, who also took part in the first event, urged caution. "The biggest threat to the internet is not cybercriminals, but misguided or overreaching government policy," he said.
Prime Minister David Cameron appeared to agree that politicians should resist the temptation to be heavy-handed. "Governments must not use cyber security as an excuse for censorship," he said.
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