A new report says a growing number of nations are restricting parts of the Internet to the public. It says these countries also are passing laws that permit greater spying on what people do and say online.
The report is called “Freedom of the Net 2014.” It comes from Freedom House, the non-governmental democracy and rights group. Freedom House examined 65 governments on their policies and actions connected to online content.
Laura Reed is a Freedom House researcher. She helped prepare the report.
She says Myanmar, Tunisia, Cuba, and India were among the nations in which Freedom House noted improvement. Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and Vietnam were said to be less free than last year. The United States was said to have increases in “limits of content” and “violation of user rights.”
The new report says Turkey grew more restrictive as social media expanded as a tool for organizing protests and reporting government abuses.
The report also discussed efforts in some countries to require that all content created in-country be stored on computer servers within national borders. Laura Reed warns that this could put users’ activity records and identity at risk. She says a government would be able to access its citizens’ information much more easily. She says that could be a big problem for citizens of countries like Russia.