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from Hari Karen Updated from 09/24/2021 to 09/24/2021

Freedom House warns that governments are increasingly restricting people’s internet access and attacking those who use the internet to protest or regulate

The lack of control and the rise of dictatorial government control have led to an “unprecedented attack on freedom of expression on the Internet,” a campaign think tank warned that global Internet freedom will continue to decline for the eleventh year in a row.

The annual Cyber ​​Freedom Rating, produced by the Global Nonprofit Freedom House, lists the unique shift in power from tech companies to governments between June 2020 and May 2021. Of the 70 countries assessed, 48 found that governments had taken legal or administrative action against technology companies. . The US-based nonprofit warns that pressures to regulate business operations – often to prevent legal issues such as online harassment or data abuse – are being exploited by some governments to restrict free disclosure and gain more access to personal information .

In his statement, Freedom on the netFreedom House said some of the restrictions placed “undue censorship” on users and aimed to suppress content that was critical of the government. Other rules force tech companies to collect personally identifiable information, which means that users’ online activities are monitored under rules that lack “democratic security”, such as judicial oversight or public accountability. The Monitoring Group said it had seen a similar pattern in data management, with a growing number of new laws requiring “government monitoring” of domestic user data servers.

The new urgency for this control relates to the historic suppression of “free speech” on the Internet, the Independence House said. Of the 3.8 billion people with internet access, three quarters live in countries where people have been arrested or imprisoned for posting content on political or religious topics, while 72% live in countries where they have been murdered or attacked online. Activities since June 2020. The government has blocked internet access in at least 20 countries and blocked 21 social media sites.

The more information, the less freedom

“The rights of Internet users around the world, particularly freedom of expression and privacy, are being seriously violated by recent government action,” said Michael J. Snyder, President of the House of Independence. said Abramowitz. “Instead of using regulation to control the enormous power of tech companies, many governments are using them for their own repressive purposes.”

The Monitoring Group found that internet freedom had decreased significantly in 30 countries from June 2020 to May 2021. Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, has seen the biggest decline in online freedom since the military started the conspiracy in February 2021, 2009, and started the plan in 2009. Every night between February and April, the internet was cut and cellular service completely suspended. relay a message. When the popular protests began, the military junta controlled the telecommunications infrastructure. It blocked social media, withdrew licenses from independent online news organizations and forced service providers to reveal personal information.

China ranks 7th as the worst country for cyber freedom according to the Freedom House measureNS Years in a row. The government 19 epidemic is one of the most heavily censored topics and Chinese authorities have imprisoned users for “online dissent,” independent reporting and even daily communication. The company also cracks down on tech companies suspected of abusing data security.

In the US, there was an increase in fake news and misinformation during the presidential election in November 2020, which led to a further decline in internet freedom over the next 5 years.NS Years in a row. However, the watchdogs noted a positive change in attitude on the part of President Joe Biden: his administration increased funding for broadband connectivity in the United States and halted former President Trump’s efforts to end the use of Dictoc and Visat by Chinese companies.

The report warns that different states are enacting different types of laws and creating “fragmentation” due to the lack of a common global vision for a free internet. “Democratic governments must follow established rules, simultaneously expose themselves and exchange information across borders and take those in power into account,” said Alli Funk, senior research analyst at the Independent House of Technology and Democracy.