Freedom on the Net 2021

Freedom House has recently released a new report, Freedom on the Net 2021: The Global Drive to Control Big Tech. As a part of their annual Freedom on the Net series, this report provides an overview of the latest developments in online freedom across the globe, and assesses and ranks online freedom by country for 2021. Among the various charts and tables contained in the report, the authors present statistics on internet users globally, measure internet regulation county-by-country, and describe the best and worst practices for tech regulation.

The authors’ key findings:

  1. Global internet freedom declined for the 11th consecutive year.
  2. Governments clashed with technology companies on users’ rights. Authorities in at least 48 countries pursued new rules for tech companies on content, data, or competition over the past year.
  3. Free expression online is under unprecedented strain. More governments arrested users for nonviolent political, social, or religious speech than ever before.
  4. China ranks as the worst environment for internet freedom for the seventh year in a row.
  5. The United States’ score declined for the fifth consecutive year.
  6. State intervention must protect human rights online and preserve an open internet.

More resources related to online freedom and internet regulation can be found the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).

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