#CyberFLASH: G7 ministers to push for internet freedom, reduce digital divide

computer-laptop-keyboard-852TOKYO: Information technology ministers of the G7 countries, during a meeting in Japan on Saturday, agreed to tackle the digital divide by bringing internet access to more people, and pushing for policies free of political censorship.

The plan set out by the ministers of the G7 countries — Japan, the US, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy — and European Union officials is to enable 1.5 billion more people to have internet access by 2020, EFE news reported.

It is believed that around 4 billion people, representing 60% of the world’s population, still lack internet access.

“We believe that global digital connectivity should in particular contribute to improving the quality of life for all people everywhere, to generating economic growth,” they said.

Meanwhile, in a message to countries such as China and Russia where governments censor web content, the ministers called for a free flow of information.

“We continue to support ICT policies that preserve the global nature of the internet, promote the flow of information across borders and allow internet users to access online information, knowledge and services of their choice,” a joint statment issued after the meeting said.

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