Internet freedom in 'global decline,' report finds

Posted in the Chicago Forum

Dexter Mullins

United States

#1 Oct 3, 2013
Internet freedom in 'global decline,' report finds
by Dexter Mullins
October 3, 2013 | 4:05AM ET

Fall in online freedom in US noted as 'especially troubling' in study that charts uptick in arrests, surveillance

Internet freedom in countries around the world has declined sharply in the past year despite a pushback from activists that successfully blocked some governments’ repressive laws, according to a new report.

The study, by advocacy group Freedom House, looked at online trends in 60 countries, evaluating each nation them based on obstacles to access, limits to content and violations of user rights. It found that in 35 of the countries monitored, governments had expanded their legal and technical surveillance powers in regards to citizen's online activities.

“Broad surveillance, new laws controlling web content and growing arrests of social media users drove a worldwide decline in Internet freedom in the past year,” the authors of the report concluded.

Of the countries included in the research, Iceland came top in terms of giving its citizens the highest level of freedom. China, Cuba and Iran were listed as the most restrictive for a second consecutive year. The report noted that declines in online freedom in three democracies – Brazil, India and the United States – were “especially troubling”.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10...

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