Freedom House: Two-thirds of the world's internet users live under government censorship

Freedom House: Two-thirds of the world's internet users live under government censorshipA report released today has found that internet freedom across the globe declined for a sixth consecutive year in 2016, the Verge.

The report from Freedom House based on an analysis of web freedom in 65 countries, covering 88 percent of the world's online population found two-thirds of the world's internet users live under regimes of government censorship/

China has been named as the worst abuser of internet freedom for the second consecutive year, followed by Syria and Iran.

The report did not include North Korea.

Online freedom in the US increased slightly over the year due to the USA Freedom Act.

Messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram have been under crackdown this year with WhatsApp to be blocked or restricted in 12 countries, which is more than any other messaging app.

Athorities in Bahrain, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia have resorted to blocking WhatsApp in response to civilian protests.

Telegram faced restrictions in four countries including China.

"Although the blocking of these tools affects everyone, it has an especially harmful impact on human rights defenders, journalists, and marginalized communities who often depend on these apps to bypass government surveillance," Sanja Kelly, director and co-author of the Freedom on the Net 2016 report, said in a statement Monday.

Freedom House will officially announce its latest Freedom on the Net report at an event at Google's Washington, DC headquarters later Monday.
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