On Internet Freedom

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Yet across the globe, governments are restricting internet freedom and freedom of expression online using a variety of methods, including national security regulations, vague language in internet laws, broad investigatory powers, excessive bail, harsh sentences, defamation and libel claims, content restriction and surveillance. With support from the U. In South and Southeast Asia, ABA ROLI works with local and regional partners to enhance legal capacity based on established international legal principles on freedom of expression online.

In addition, ABA ROLI is helping to establish a sustainable network of internet freedom lawyers who can support one another by sharing information and strategy, and learn from the experiences of other lawyers in the region. In Europe and Eurasia, ABA ROLI will work with local partners to develop and share educational materials for lawmakers on internet freedom principles under international law and draft template legislation to promote internet freedom. ABA ROLI will also conduct internet freedom workshops for national lawmakers, a broad range of government officials, media, private sector, CSOs and online civic activists.

ABA ROLI is also developing country reports that will serve as launching points for the network to dive deeper into the challenges of internet freedom, and organizing two five-day-long regional summits to address internet freedom issues affecting target countries. Social filtering is censorship of topics that are held to be antithetical to accepted societal norms. Many organizations implement filtering as part of a defense in depth strategy to protect their environments from malware , [54] and to protect their reputations in the event of their networks being used, for example, to carry out sexual harassment.

Internet filtering related to threats to national security that targets the Web sites of insurgents , extremists , and terrorists often enjoys wide public support. The protection of existing economic interests is sometimes the motivation for blocking new Internet services such as low-cost telephone services that use Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP. These services can reduce the customer base of telecommunications companies, many of which enjoy entrenched monopoly positions and some of which are government sponsored or controlled.

Blocking the intermediate tools and applications of the Internet that can be used to assist users in accessing and sharing sensitive material is common in many countries. The right to be forgotten is a concept that has been discussed and put into practice in the European Union. In May , the European Court of Justice ruled against Google in Costeja , a case brought by a Spanish man who requested the removal of a link to a digitized article in La Vanguardia newspaper about an auction for his foreclosed home, for a debt that he had subsequently paid.

The court ruled in Costeja that search engines are responsible for the content they point to and thus, Google was required to comply with EU data privacy laws. Index on Censorship claimed that " Costeja ruling This is akin to marching into a library and forcing it to pulp books. Although the ruling is intended for private individuals it opens the door to anyone who wants to whitewash their personal history It should send chills down the spine of everyone in the European Union who believes in the crucial importance of free expression and freedom of information.

History, Goals and Guiding Principles

As more people in more places begin using the Internet for important activities, there is an increase in online censorship, using increasingly sophisticated techniques. The motives, scope, and effectiveness of Internet censorship vary widely from country to country. Countries in other regions also practice certain forms of filtering. In the United States state-mandated Internet filtering occurs on some computers in libraries and K schools. Content related to Nazism or Holocaust denial is blocked in France and Germany.

Child pornography and hate speech are blocked in many countries throughout the world. Internet censorship in China is among the most stringent in the world. The government blocks Web sites that discuss the Dalai Lama , the crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters , the banned spiritual practice Falun Gong , as well as many general Internet sites. The government allows the Chinese people to say whatever they like about the state, its leaders, or their policies, because talk about any subject unconnected to collective action is not censored.

The value that Chinese leaders find in allowing and then measuring criticism by hundreds of millions of Chinese people creates actionable information for them and, as a result, also for academic scholars and public policy analysts. There are international bodies that oppose internet censorship, for example "Internet censorship is open to challenge at the World Trade Organization WTO as it can restrict trade in online services, a forthcoming study argues".

Several governments have resorted to shutting down most or all Internet connections in the country. This appears to have been the case on 27 and 28 January during the Egyptian protests , in what has been widely described as an "unprecedented" internet block. Almost all Internet connections in Sudan were disconnected from 3 June to 9 July, , in response to a political opposition sit-in seeking civilian rule.

Local shutdowns are frequently ordered in India during times of unrest and security concerns. Through the OpenNet Initiative had documented Internet filtering by governments in over forty countries worldwide. Of the 41 separate countries classified, seven were found to show no evidence of filtering in all three areas Egypt , France , Germany , India , Ukraine , United Kingdom , and United States , while one was found to engage in pervasive filtering in all three areas China , 13 were found to engage in pervasive filtering in one or more areas, and 34 were found to engage in some level of filtering in one or more areas.

Of the 10 countries classified in both and , one reduced its level of filtering Pakistan , five increased their level of filtering Azerbaijan , Belarus , Kazakhstan , South Korea , and Uzbekistan , and four maintained the same level of filtering China , Iran , Myanmar , and Tajikistan.

The Freedom on the Net reports from Freedom House provide analytical reports and numerical ratings regarding the state of Internet freedom for countries worldwide.


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  6. The surveys ask a set of questions designed to measure each country's level of Internet and digital media freedom, as well as the access and openness of other digital means of transmitting information, particularly mobile phones and text messaging services. The results from the three areas are combined into a total score for a country from 0 for best to for worst and countries are rated as "Free" 0 to 30 , "Partly Free" 31 to 60 , or "Not Free" 61 to based on the totals.

    The era of internet freedom is over - spiked

    Starting in Freedom House has produced nine editions of the report. The reports generally cover the period from June through May. The report assessed 65 countries and reported that 36 countries experienced a negative trajectory in Internet freedom since the previous year, with the most significant declines in Russia , Turkey and Ukraine.

    According to the report, few countries demonstrated any gains in Internet freedom, and the improvements that were recorded reflected less vigorous application of existing controls rather than new steps taken by governments to actively increase Internet freedom. The year's largest improvement was recorded in India , where restrictions to content and access were relaxed from what had been imposed in to stifle rioting in the northeastern states. Notable improvement was also recorded in Brazil , where lawmakers approved the bill Marco Civil da Internet , which contains significant provisions governing net neutrality and safeguarding privacy protection.

    When the "Enemies of the Internet" list was introduced in , it listed 13 countries. From to the number of countries listed fell to 10 and then rose to The list was not updated in In the list grew to 19 with an increased emphasis on surveillance in addition to censorship. The list has not been updated since When the "Countries under surveillance" list was introduced in , it listed 10 countries.

    Between and the number of countries listed grew to 16 and then fell to The list was last updated in A poll of 27, adults in 26 countries, including 14, Internet users, [] was conducted for the BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan using telephone and in-person interviews between 30 November and 7 February GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller felt, overall, that the poll showed that:. Findings from the poll include: []. In July and August the Internet Society conducted online interviews of more than 10, Internet users in 20 countries.

    Some of the results relevant to Internet censorship are summarized below. Among the countries that filter or block online content, few openly admit to or fully disclose their filtering and blocking activities. During the Arab Spring of , media jihad media struggle was extensive. Internet and mobile technologies, particularly social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, played and are playing important new and unique roles in organizing and spreading the protests and making them visible to the rest of the world.

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    This successful use of digital media in turn led to increased censorship including the complete loss of Internet access for periods of time in Egypt [82] [83] [] and Libya in In response to the greater freedom of expression brought about by the Arab Spring revolutions in countries that were previously subject to very strict censorship, in March , Reporters Without Borders moved Tunisia and Egypt from its "Internet enemies" list to its list of countries "under surveillance" [] and in dropped Libya from the list entirely.

    This article incorporates licensed material from the OpenNet Initiative web site. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet An Opte Project visualization of routing paths through a portion of the Internet. Information infrastructure. Book Index Outline. Main article: Content-control software. Main article: Censorship. Main article: Deplatforming. See also: Twitter suspensions and Terms of Service. Main article: Internet censorship circumvention. Main article: Right to be forgotten. Main articles: Internet censorship by country and Censorship by country. Pervasive: Large and broad.

    Substantial: Medium. Selective: Small and specific. Little or no.

    What do major copyright changes mean for internet freedom?

    Has local YouTube version. Previously blocked. Organizations and projects : Anonymous — an online hacktivist collective that express its opposition to Internet censorship through protests and online hacking in several countries. CIRCAMP Cospol Internet Related Child Abusive Material Project — a project of the European Chiefs of Police Task Force to combat commercial and organized distribution of child pornography The Clean IT project — a European Union-funded project with the stated aim of suppressing terrorist activity Electronic Frontier Foundation — an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography — a coalition of credit card issuers and Internet services companies that seeks to eliminate commercial child pornography by taking action on the payment systems that fund these operations Freedom House — a U.

    Government funded program created in at Radio Free Asia to support global Internet freedom technologies OpenNet Initiative — a joint project to monitor and report on Internet filtering and surveillance practices by nations Peacefire — a U. America's Won't Necessarily Be the Best. The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October New York Times.

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    Retrieved 11 March Retrieved 13 February Columbia Law Review. How Facebook's Tor service could encourage a more open web. The Guardian. Friday 5 December Chadwick, Andrew Routledge handbook of Internet politics. Routledge international handbooks. Taylor and Francis. An American In Beijing. Retrieved 28 May How to geek.

    Retrieved 15 August Retrieved 5 April Retrieved 25 January The Citizen Lab. Retrieved 10 May ACLU releases report on "troubling" internet censorship in public libraries". Archived from the original on 5 December Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 27 March Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 15 November The Wall Street Journal.

    Archived from the original on 30 March Terms of Service" , Yahoo! Time Magazine. Retrieved 14 April Retrieved 26 July



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