China has the world's most censored internet for the fourth year in a row, with Iceland granting the most freedom … now that the US sees limitations for the third consecutive year
- China was the worst abuser of internet freedoms for the fourth year in a row, according to new statistics
- Iceland came at the top of the rankings and according to the study became & # 39; the world's best protector of liberties
- Of the 65 countries assessed, 33 have declined overall since June 2018, with 16 improvements
- US has seen a decrease in internet freedom for the third consecutive year after more monitoring via social media
- The United Kingdom scored 77 and placed fifth in the rankings, along with the United States and Australia
For the fourth year in a row, China has the world's most censored internet, with Iceland granting the most internet freedom, a study found.
Meanwhile, for the third consecutive year, the US has seen an increase in restrictions.
A study on internet freedom by Freedom on the Net focused on 65 countries around the world, with 87 percent of internet users worldwide and tracked improvements and decreases in internet freedom conditions from June 2018 to May 2019.
China's status as & # 39; the world's worst abuser of internet freedom was confirmed for the fourth consecutive year when the government improved its information controls in the presence of widespread anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
The map shows the results of the investigation. The green marked areas are the countries with & # 39; free & # 39; Internet access, yellow means & # 39; partially free & # 39; and purple means & # 39; not free & # 39;
Iceland became & # 39; the world's best protector of internet freedom and has not registered any civil or criminal cases against users for online expression during the coverage period.
The UK scored 77, making it fifth in the rankings, along with the US and Australia.
Of the 65 countries assessed, there has been a decrease of 33 since June 2018, compared to 16 who registered net improvements, with Ethiopia seeing the biggest improvement this year.
The decline has been outperformed for the ninth consecutive year with the US, which saw a decline in internet freedom for the third consecutive year, as law enforcement and immigration agencies expanded their oversight over the public.
Iran, Syria and Vietnam also scored low on the rankings.
This map shows the changes to & # 39; freedom scores & # 39 ;, where green is the biggest improvement and orange and red countries the biggest decline
In Ethiopia, the appointment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018 led to a reform agenda that lifted restrictions on the internet, including the unblocking of 260 sites.
The largest score declines were in Sudan and Kazakhstan, followed by Brazil, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
In Sudan, national protests fueled by a devastating economic crisis led to the removal of President Omar al-Bashir after three decades in power.
China has the world's most censored internet for the fourth year in a row, with Iceland granting the most internet freedom
Authorities repeatedly blocked social media platforms during the crisis, including a two-month outage, in an effort to control information flows.
On the other side of the spectrum, conditions in Iceland were much better, including almost universal connectivity, limited content restrictions, and strong protection of user rights.
In America, civil servants increasingly followed social media platforms and conducted unqualified searches on electronic devices to obtain information about peaceful protests and critical reporting.
Disinformation also prevailed around political events such as the November 2018 mid-term elections and hearings for the Supreme Court nominated Brett Kavanaugh.
Other countries also benefited from an opening of the online environment after political transitions. A new coalition government in Malaysia has kept some of its democratic promises after winning elections in May 2018.
Commenting on the findings, Freedom House's technology and democracy research director Adrian Shahbaz said: & The future of internet freedom depends on our ability to restore social media.
& # 39; As these are primarily American platforms, the United States must be a leader in promoting transparency and accountability in the digital age.
& # 39; This is the only way to prevent the Internet from becoming a Trojan horse for tyranny and oppression. & # 39;
A record high of 47 out of 65 countries contained arrests of users for political, social or religious speeches.
Individuals underwent physical violence in retaliation for their online activities in at least 31 countries.
Social media and communication applications were blocked in at least 20 countries and telecommunications networks were suspended in 17 countries, often in the run-up to elections or during protests and civil unrest.
Overview of the ranking lists of countries
Countries with & # 39; free & # 39; internet access
1. Iceland – 95
2. Estonia – 94
3. Canada – 87
4. Germany – 80
5. United Kingdom, United States and Australia – 77
6. France and Armenia – 76
7. Italy and Georgia – 75
8. Japan – 73
9. South Africa, Hungary and Argentina – 72
Countries with & # 39; partly free & # 39; internet access
10. Kenya – 68
11. Colombia – 67
12. Philippines – 66
13. Nigeria, Tunisia, Angola, Brazil and South Korea – 64
14. Ecuador and Kyrgyzstan – 61
15. Mexico – 60
16. Zambia – 58
17. Malaysia, Malawi – 57
18. Singapore, Uganda, Ukraine – 56
19. India – 55
20. Morocco – 54
21. Lebanon – 52
22. Indonesia – 51
23. Libya and Sri Lanka – 49
24. The Gambia – 48
25. Jordan – 47
26. Bangladesh – 44
27. Cambodia – 43
28. Zimbabwe – 42
29. Rwanda – 41
Countries with & # 39; not free & # 39; internet
30. Azerbaijan – 39
31. Turkey – 37
32. Myanmar – 36
33. Belarus – 35
34. Kazakhstan – 32
35. Russia – 31
36. Venezuela – 30
37. Bahrain – 29
38. Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates – 28
39. Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Egypt – 26
40. Saudi Arabia and Sudan – 25
41. Vietnam – 24
42. Syria – 17
43. Iran – 15
44. China – 10
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