State of Internet Freedom – Report

7. April 2009 – 14:31 by Bengt Feil

Citizen freedoms are at the very heart of functioning democratic and civil societies and the amount of freedom citizens have while being online is certainly important in this regard. In the last years and months governments have passed laws and regulations which have restricted internet freedom: A recent example would be that ISPs and telecoms have started to store details of email and net phone calls since Monday following an EU directive which was formulated as a reaction to the 2005 bombings in London. But companies also harm their costumers privacy and freedom without being pressed by governments. Under these circumstances a closer look at online freedom seems reasonable.

On April 1st Freedom House, a US based advocacy group for political freedom, human rights and democracy, published its first “Freedom on the Net”-Report describing the state of internet freedom in fifteen different states. Alongside this report they also introduced the Freedom on the Net Index. The full report can be found here.

The report includes detailed information on the situation in the fifteen named countries. Hopefully the index will also get used to evaluate other countries and helps to raise awareness for the potential issues related to online freedom.

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