According to new research released by Freedom House in the 2019 Freedom of the Net report, internet freedom across the globe has declined for the ninth year in a row. Research was conducted on 65 different countries across the world on the climate of their respective internet freedoms. Of the 65 countries, it was found that 33 countries saw net decreases in their internet freedoms, while 16 saw overall increases. The research in this study basically measured the level of censorship, freedom of expression and overall internet access present in the participating countries.
The study found that countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Estonia, Iceland, Armenia, Italy, France, and Germany are the best countries when it comes to internet freedom and overall internet access. Countries such as Iran, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia ranked among the worst in internet freedom. China, in particular, is ranked as one of the worst countries. In past years, the Chinese government was known to censor and prohibit much of the content that was available on the internet. This year in particular, however, saw an unprecedented amount of content being blocked on the internet due to anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The authors of this study concluded about the internet that “What was once a liberating technology has become a conduit for surveillance and electoral manipulation”.