Decrease in Internet freedoms for eighth year runningFrom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 05 2018 03:07:57
Great. Global internet freedoms take another dive as censorship and
fake news proliferate China is 'remaking the world in its
techno-dystopian image' By Rebecca Hill 2 Nov 2018 at 16:00
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Internet freedoms have taken a nose dive for the eighth year running,
according to a report warning that authoritarian countries and populist
leaders are exporting harmful attitudes and ideas around the world.
The US pro-democracy think tank Freedom House produces a report on
internet freedoms each year. This year, it assessed 65 countries, and
found freedoms had declined in 26 of them. Of the 19 that made
improvements, most were only minor.
According to the report (PDF), the top-rated countries were Iceland and
Estonia, with scores of 6 (the lower the better) and Canada, with a
score of 15. They were followed by Germany (19), Australia (21) and the
US – which slipped from a score of 21 to 22 thanks to repeals of net
neutrality laws and a failure to reform sweeping surveillance rules.
The UK was in the seventh spot, with a score of 23.
Unsurprisingly, China was the worst offender, with a score of 88 – and
the report was at pains to emphasise the country's approach to
censorship and surveillance was spreading across the world, saying it
was "remak[ing] the world in its techno-dystopian image".
This year, Beijing took steps to propagate its model abroad by
conducting large-scale trainings of foreign officials, providing
technology to authoritarian governments, and demanding that
international companies abide by its content regulations even when
operating outside of China.
The country also established a new cybersecurity law this year,
cracking down on attempts to circumvent the Great Firewall, as well as
increasing its use of – and expertise in – surveillance technology.
Some large firms have acceded to Chinese demands. Delta, along with
other airlines, listed Taiwan as part of China. Mercedes-Benz
apologised for using a quote from the Dalai Lama on an Instagram ad.
In the tech sector, Apple and Google capitulated to the demands of the
monied government to remove apps or censor search, as they eyed up data
centres in the region.
China's demands – much like Russia's – that citizens' data is stored
within its borders means "information can be accessed by security
agencies", the report said – thus diminishing users' freedoms.
RS Wood <email@example.com>