Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has called the UK's so-called super-injunctions "a bad law" and warned that biggest threat to the internet "is not cybercriminals, but misguided or overreaching government policy".
Speaking at the first day of the London Conference on Cyberspace on Tuesday, Mr Wales said that stopping online piracy would be widely supported but not if it were achieved at the expense of freedom of expression. "Maybe we need to think about other ways other than resorting to government control," he told the audience.
Mr Wales added that Wikipedia had abided by super-injunctions granted in UK courts "by accident" because its editors were unwilling to publish details until it could cite reliable sources. At the event, organised and attended by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was on the stage as Mr Wales gave his speech, he said: "Someone posted information on Twitter. Did we put all of the stuff in an article or did we obey UK law? Well, we did it by accident, we think it is a bad law. It is not interesting to us to obey random laws which go against freedom of speech online."
Mr Hague called for a "co-ordinated global response" to online security fears but accepted that governments should take a back seat on online regulation.
Mr Wales has previously said that he would break UK super-injunctions if the information was printed in a foreign newspaper.