From Freedom House:
Freedom on the Net is a comprehensive study of internet freedom in 65 countries around the globe, covering 87 percent of the world’s internet users. It tracks improvements and declines in internet freedom conditions each year. The countries included in the study are selected to represent diverse geographical regions and regime types. In-depth reports on each country can be found at www.freedomonthenet.org.
More than 70 analysts contributed to this year’s edition using a 21-question research methodology that addresses internet access, freedom of expression, and privacy issues. In addition to ranking countries by their internet freedom score, the project offers a unique opportunity to identify global trends related to the impact of information and communication technologies on democracy. This report, the eighth in its series, focuses on developments that occurred between June 2017 and May 2018.
Key Findings From Freedom on the Net 2018:
- Of the 65 countries assessed, 26 have been on an overall decline since June 2017, compared with 19 that registered net improvements. The biggest score declines took place in Egypt and Sri Lanka, followed by Cambodia, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Venezuela.
- China trains the world in digital authoritarianism: Chinese officials held trainings and seminars on new media or information management with representatives from 36 out of the 65 countries assessed by Freedom on the Net.
- Internet freedom declined in the United States.
- Citing fake news, governments curbed online dissent: At least 17 countries approved or proposed laws that would restrict online media in the name of fighting “fake news” and online manipulation.
- Authorities demand control over personal data: Governments in 18 countries increased surveillance, often eschewing independent oversight and weakening encryption in order to gain unfettered access to data.