Speaking at a London conference, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague and Vice President Joe Biden agreed that global cooperation is needed to address piracy, identity theft and other problems of illegal behavior on the Internet, but emphasized that any government response must strive to maintain openness on web networks as well as the privacy rights of online users. The London Conference on Cyberspace, which opened on Tuesday, was attended by business and government leaders from 60 nations. Explaining that he proposed the conference to assess “how we reach international agreements about behavior in cyberspace,” Hague proclaimed that while the Internet has fueled “an explosion of new ways of access information,” it has also driven an increase in “malicious use of digital networks” that is “targeted often at the most vulnerable in our societies and at national systems themselves.” Despite such use, Hague stressed that “government control or censorship are not appropriate responses,” as the risk of heavy-handed regulation is that the Internet would “become fragmented and ghettoized, subject to separate rules and processes in different regions set by isolated national services, with state-imposed barriers to trade, commerce and the free flow of information and ideas.” Seeking to “widen the pool of nations and cyber users that agree with us about the need for norms of behavior and that want . . . a future cyberspace based on opportunity,” Hague proposed several principles that would form the basis of global cooperation. Such principles, said Hague, include (1) the need for governments to “act proportionately,” (2) protection of freedom of expression, (3) respect for privacy and copyrights, and (4) joint action against online crime. Agreeing that the issue is how to “achieve security for nations, people and business online without compromising the openness that is one of the Internet’s greatest attributes,” Biden told conference participants via video link that the goal of private and public stakeholders should be “greater transparency and accountability,” as “it would be misguided in our view to break from the system that has worked so well for so long.”