The freedom of speech enjoyed by its users internet in various countries evaluates in its report the American non-governmental organization Freedom House. The report takes into account restrictions on internet access or the presence of pro-government “trolls” trying to manipulate online discussions.
“This year, internet users in 41 countries have been physically assaulted in retaliation for their online activity,” the report said, noting that it was the highest number since retaining data.
The authors of the research point out that in 56 of the 70 countries examined, citizens were arrested or convicted for their activities on the Internet, a record 80%, according to the APE-MPE, citing AFP.
In all, within a year, 20 countries periodically blocked Internet access for citizens.
Loose and rigid countries
THE Iceland is located first on the list of countries with the greatest freedom on the internet, in front of Estonia and Costa Rica, as it became the first country in the world to make internet access a fundamental right of its citizens.
On the contrary China considered the country that least respects internet freedom of speech and the one that most oppresses dissident users.
Globally, the report’s authors accuse governments of taking advantage of technology business regulations to justify repressive measures.
At the same time, they criticize countries such as India and the Turkey for their legislation that forces social media to withdraw any content that is considered offensive or may affect public order.
In many countries, antitrust laws are being drafted to reduce the influence of technology giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook, an effort that Freedom House considers justified.
The number of countries where internet users have been arrested or mistreated for posting has reached a new high between June 2020 and May 2021.
The most typical incidents of this period are the internet outage in Myanmar and Belarus, however, the rights of internet users have been restricted worldwide for the eleventh consecutive year, the NGO underlined.
Among the examples cited by Freedom House is a student at Bangladesh who had to be hospitalized after being beaten because he was suspected of “anti-government activity” on social media.
Another incident reported is that of one Mexican of a journalist who was killed because he posted on Facebook a video in which he accused a gang of murders.
The military junta that took power on February 1 in Myanmar has been heavily criticized for cutting off internet access, blocking social media and forcing technology companies to hand over users’ personal data.
There were internet breaks even before the elections in Uganda in January and after the controversial presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020.