The Bulletin

The best and worst countries to access the 'open' Internet

Posting in Government

Censorship, cyberbullying, social media-based political uprisings, access to information -- the "open" Internet and freedom are often hampered by laws and legislation, for good or ill.

From the block of torrent websites in the U.K. by Internet service providers to the jailing of bloggers in China, every country has its own battle between government and freedom activists over the online sphere.

But where are the best and worst places to access the Internet?

A report compiled by Freedom House assesses a variety of political systems used in both the censorship of the Web and protection of Internet users in 60 countries. Of the countries analyzed, 34 have "experienced a negative trajectory since May 2012" and the deterioration of the open Internet continues to occur -- in countries from Vietnam to the U.S. and Ethiopia.

Three broad categories have been used to measure each country's score:

  • Obstacles to access- Economic, governmental and legal.
  • Limits on content- Filtering, blocking, censorship self-censorship, freedom of the press.
  • Violations of user rights- Legal protection and restrictions for online activity, prosecution, imprisonment, physical attacks.

The control of the Internet, according to the report, is mainly due to blocking and filtering, politically-driven cyberattacks, laws and the arrest of online activists, pro-governmental manipulation of data and news, takedown requests, the forced deletion of content and closing down Internet and mobile services.

Each country received a score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free), which then is used to classify whether access is "free," "partly free" or "not free." A selection of some of the report's regional graphs are below:

Read the report here (.pdf).

Via: Business Insider

Image credit: Freedom House

— By on October 10, 2013, 7:04 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure