Ed Vaizey, the UK's Minister for Culture, has responded to widespread criticism of the government's 'closed-door' meetings over web censorship and site blocking.

Speaking at Intellect's Consumer Electronics Conference in London, Vaizey described accusations that the government failed to invite consumer groups to meetings discussing proposals for policing piracy on the web as "conspiracy theories".

He told delegates, "We've been accused of having a light touch as far as internet freedoms go and a heavy hand with old media; I think we need to find a balance somewhere in the middle."

Industry-led

He went, "It's clear that the issues are of inappropriate content and protecting user data.

"With the site blocking proposals, copyright owners put forward a proposal and we simply facilitated a discussion around that proposal, including inviting consumer-focused groups, despite the popular conspiracy theory that we did not.

"No one will disagree that stopping piracy is a good thing. The copyright holders said to us, 'We want to use the law, but we want discussion with ISPs beforehand to make the legal process quicker.'

"These are industry proposals, it's not something the government is leading. But we do want to protect content and our industry and it's clear that business models will have to change."