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Freedom on the Net report

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Freedom on the Net is an annual report on the ability of people in countries around the globe to access and create Internet content without undue restriction and to have their individual rights respected.

The report analyzes the performance of countries according to three categories of criteria:

Obstacles to Access: This category assesses both technological and economic barriers to Internet access, government control of Internet service providers (ISPs) and the autonomy of regulatory bodies.

Limits on Content: This category assesses legal restrictions on content, website filtering and blocking, freedom of expression, the "vibrancy" and diversity of news content and the ability to use online tools for civic mobilization activities, such as organizing protests.

Violations of User Rights: This category assesses countries on surveillance activities, infringements on user privacy and unwarranted repercussions for legal online activities.

 Based on those assessments, the report assigns a score between one and a hundred and designates a country as free, partly free or not free. The report also identifies significant increases or decreases in freedom in particular countries as well as in the world as a whole. In 2015, the organization reported the fifth consecutive year of global decline in Internet freedom.

The Freedom on the Net report is produced by Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to increasing democracy and individual freedoms around the globe. Other Freedom House annual reports include Freedom of the Press, Freedom in the World, Nations in Transit, Countries at the Crossroads and Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

This was last updated in October 2015

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