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China is world’s worst abuser of internet freedom: Freedom on Net 2019 report

Pakistan was declared as 'not free’ in terms of internet freedom status for the ninth consecutive year.

Nov 6, 2019 17:44 IST
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China was ranked as the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom for the fourth consecutive year and Pakistan was declared as 'not free’ in terms of internet freedom status for the ninth consecutive year in the Freedom on the Net (FoTN) report 2019.

The Freedom on the Net report 2019 titled ‘The Crisis of Social Media’ was released by an international internet watchdog, the Freedom House on November 5, 2019. The report recorded an overall decline in global internet freedom status between July 2018 and May 2019.

India was given an overall score of 55 in the report and the internet freedom status in the country was reported to be ‘partly free’.

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The Crisis of Social Media report: Key Highlights

The report assessed 65 countries and 33 among them showed an overall decline in internet freedom since June 2018. Only 16 countries showed improvements in their internet freedom status.

Some of the countries that showed the biggest decline in internet freedom include Sudan, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

The country that recorded the biggest improvement in its internet freedom score in 2019 included Ethiopia.

China with an overall score of 10 was adjudged ‘not free’ and as the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom for the fourth consecutive year.

Pakistan was given a score of 26 and was declared ‘not free’ in internet freedom status for the 9th consecutive year.  

Though the online environment was reported to be vibrant and free from state censorship in the United States, the report saw a decline in the overall internet freedom in the US for the third straight year. The US had an overall score of 77.

The internet freedom status in Malaysia and Armenia also recorded a positive trend.

Iceland was recorded as the world’s best protector of internet freedom, as it had no civil or criminal cases registered against users for online expression during the coverage period. Iceland ranked the highest with an overall score of 95.  

Freedom on the Net – India

India was given an overall score of 55 in the Freedom on the Net 2019 report and was declared ‘partly free’ in its internet freedom status.

Following is the Internet Freedom status of South-Asian nations:

Country

Overall Score and Status

Internet Freedom Status

Obstacles to Access

Limits on content

Violations of User Rights

India

55

Partly Free

12

24

19

Bangladesh

44

Partly Free

13

17

14

Pakistan

26

Not Free

5

14

7

China

10

Not Free

8

2

-

Myanmar

36

Not Free

10

16

10

Sri Lanka

49

Partly Free

10

22

17

What is Freedom on the net?

Freedom on the Net is a comprehensive study of internet freedom in 65 nations across the globe. The report covers 87 percent of the world’s total internet users.

The annual report tracks declines and improvement in internet freedom. The 2019 edition is the ninth report in the series, which focused on internet freedom in the period between June 2018 and May 2019.

The report has chosen specific countries to represent diverse geographical regions. The 2019 edition of the report was created from the data of 70 analysts.

The report provides the overall scores to countries using a 21-question research methodology, which addresses freedom of expression, internet access and privacy issues.

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