Freedom on The Net Report in 2022 by Freedom House - FastVPN
Freedom House has released Freedom on the Net report. The report rates internet freedom of countries 1 to 100. 100 means that people can open any website and say anything in the digital world while 1 means that they might be sentenced to prison just because they express their feeling on their own social media account. According to the report:
The Governments Block The Internet To Censor Any Information
The examples all over the world show that the governments restrict the internet while they try to cover any kind of negative situations. On the other hand, the explanations are always the same: “It is for national security.” Some authorities not only ban the websites, but also they block some of the verbal usage on social media and text messages like Iran did against the nation-wide protests lately.
“Authoritarian regimes are building digital walls that hamper the free exchange of information and make it easier to silence dissent, promote dangerous disinformation and access personal data,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.
Some governments are aware of the importance of control over cyberspace. As we all know, China bans almost all of the popular websites. The public already accepted that they cannot use any website that the authorities don’t allow to. Moreover, it is said that Beijing uses personal data in order to promote the Communist Party’s ideology.
10 Of The Most Free Countries on The Net
The report shows that these are the countries where people are comfortable while using the internet. Website bans and internet restrictions are very limited in these countries. It looks like the governments of top 10 countries are not the reason why people should use a VPN. It doesn’t mean that VPNs are not necessary to protect your identity from the hackers, though.
10 Of The Least Free Countries on The Net
As well as the internet restrictions, prison sentences because of the internet activities are common in these countries. It can be said that the governments completely control the internet.
Myanmar is sitting at the bottom of the report with China. The study highlights that the Myanmar government allows only an estimated 1,200 websites and platforms through mobile connections. Popular platforms Facebook and Twitter remain inaccessible for most people.
The report said authoritarian leaders prevent residents from reaching information sources based in countries with a greater level of media freedom. By this way, they contain online dissent. “Greater focus should be placed on developing political and societal resilience. … Democratic leaders should recommit to preserving the benefits of a free and open internet,” it said.
Russia and China Are Where There Is No Internet Freedom At All
Starting with the Russia vs. Ukraine war, the Russian government tightens the restriction on the internet. The report said, “The Kremlin blocked websites as well as major social media platforms to eliminate other accounts of its ‘special military operation.’” The Kremlin has banned the most popular social platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The reason for that is to prevent any kind of sensitive information leaks about the military activity. More than 5,000 websites were blocked and a law was introduced to require prison sentences of up to 15 years for the ones who spread false information about the Ukrainian war.
The other wire-puller country is China that has a score of 10 out of 100 in the report. The authorities censored many content from COVID related news to women’s rights against sexual assault and harassment. “Journalists, human rights activists, members of religious and ethnic minority groups and ordinary users were detained for sharing online content, with some facing harsh prison sentences,” the study said, naming China as “the world’s most repressive online environment.”
It is clearly seen that the law enforcement personnels choose to block the internet and cut communication in a crisis.
In general, the freedom on the internet declined in comparison to last year. Not all bad though. Some countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia improved their ratings. It looks like every single year, people around the world lose their freedom. The reports might say that it is on the digital world. But, when we consider that the digital world is much bigger than the real world, we can say that we desperately need a solution to free ourselves on the internet.