Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russia Continues Fall in Internet Freedom Ranking - Freedom House

Russia Continues Fall in Internet Freedom Ranking - Freedom House

The report effectively propped up claims from online freedom advocates that China was continuing its Great Firewall, which, according to analysts, involved the country's most sophisticated system of conducting online surveillance and internet censorship.

Russia's rating in the World Internet Freedom Index has fallen for the sixth consecutive year according to a report published by Freedom House on Thursday.

"If democracy is to survive the digital age, technology companies, governments, and civil society must work together to find real solutions to the problems of social media manipulation and abusive data collection", Freedom House writes in its report.

The researchers said online freedom is facing threats in democratic and authoritarian states.

Jammu and Kashmir reported highest number of internet shutdowns in 2018 with 112 instances, followed by Rajasthan with 56 shutdowns and then Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

"China was once again the worst abuser of internet freedom in 2018", Adrian Shahbaz, Freedom House research director for technology and democracy, wrote in his report.

However, instead of keeping it to herself, China is reportedly generous with training other countries on how to practice this model as well.

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Freedom House said China has been leading the charge. Media professionals attended two- and three-week seminars entitled, "socialist journalism with Chinese characteristics" and "the important role played by new media in domestic and global affairs", among others.

Internet freedom in the United States worsened during the a year ago amid a similar trend witnessed on a worldwide scale, an global monitoring group wrote in its latest report.

Freedom House cites the FCC's decision to repeal net neutrality, the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act, and "disinformation and hyperpartisan content" running rampant across the American internet as the major concerns that impact online freedom.

Of the 65 countries that the report looked at, 26 recorded overall decline since June 2017, while 19 registered net improvements.

The junta-led government of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, which took power after a military coup four year ago, "continued to consolidate its control over telecommunication infrastructure despite increased internet access for Thais", it said.

The report, an annual study of how the government controls freedom of the internet, gives various instances, of which one is a video showing a child being kidnapped in Tamil Nadu.

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