Safe internet wanted, but security issues require data: GCCS kicks off

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte opened the two-day Global Conference on CyberSpace 2015 (GCCS 2015) on Thursday in The Hague. He stressed the role of internet in industrial and social development of the Netherlands. "This [cyberspace] is an important topic for the Netherlands," the prime minister said, calling the Netherlands a crucial hub for the internet. "We have the fastest internet connections in the world," he added The conference is addressing the challenges and opportunities of increasing digitalization. The primary aim of GCCS is to improve global cooperation regarding the Internet. Participants will be discussing standards of safe and responsible internet use. They will also address the role of internet in improving social welfare. "We want our global town square to be vibrant and to flourish. We want it to be a place where people feel safe. That is the goal of the GCCS and that is why you have come to The Hague," Rutte added at the end. "The Netherlands champions a free, open and secure internet. That’s our core message. That’s what this conference is intended to promote," Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, said in his comments following Rutte's opening speech. Meanwhile, Council of Europe representative Thorbjørn Jagland, spoke most closely about cyber security. "National security services must have access to data to protect citizens," he commented on the issue. GCCS follows on the previous conference on cyberspace held in London (2011), Brussels (2012) and Seoul (2013). Delegations representing governments, civil society, international organizations and private sector will be attending the conference.