Cabinet minister Francis Maude, most well known for inciting panic regarding a possible fuel shortage, has stated that the government must resist any urge to try and control the internet.
Mr. Maude, who has the role of being responsible for cyber security within the Government, admitted that there is a dark side to the internet. He believes this is where criminals, hackers, and terrorist do operate however, he insists that the online world has ‘flourished’ due the fact that it has been moulded by users rather than by those people who have been elected in to government.
In a statement given to the International Centre for Defence Studies earlier this week, Mr. Maude said, “There is no denying the power of the internet and the power it gives individuals. But of course the web does not discriminate between the people it empowers – and we know it can be a powerful tool for those who wish to do harm. …it reflects the best ideas, the most imaginative thinking, our entrepreneurial spirit. But it also shows up many of our worst characteristics. So do we throw our hands up in despair? Switch it off – return to a paper world? Of course not.”
He added that the cyber revolution offers society immense possibilities while conceding that issues of maintaining online security offered an ongoing challenge. Mr. Maude added that we need to address ways of protecting the internet without spoiling the very thing we wished to protect.