Arab Today, arab today online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance
Last Updated : GMT 23:13:27
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance

Freedom House found declines in online freedom of expression in 32 of the 65 countries
Washington - AFP

Global online freedom declined for a fifth consecutive year as governments around the world stepped up surveillance and censorship efforts, a study showed Wednesday.

The annual report by non-government watchdog Freedom House said the setbacks were especially noticeable in the Middle East, reversing gains seen in the Arab Spring.

Freedom House found declines in online freedom of expression in 32 of the 65 countries assessed since June 2014, with "notable declines" in Libya, France and Ukraine.

The deterioration also stems from governments pressuring Internet firms -- including US giants like Google and Twitter but also locally-based services -- to remove disputed content, even satire which is aimed at leaders, the Freedom House report said.

Some governments are taking the strategy of targeting online companies because "they know that average users have become more technologically savvy and are often able to circumvent state-imposed blocks," said Sanja Kelly, project director for the report.

Kelly said that the response around the world to revelations about vast US surveillance efforts has led to many governments ramping up their own efforts.

She said than many countries, including democratic regimes, have implemented "stronger surveillance and data retention laws" following the revelations from documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

"Instead of real reforms, we are seeing more countries pass laws to increase their surveillance power," she said.

The researchers found 61 percent of Internet users live in countries where criticism of the government, military or ruling family has been subject to censorship.

And 58 percent live in countries where bloggers or others were jailed for sharing content online on political, social and religious issues, according to the "Freedom on the Net 2015" report.

Freedom House said governments in 14 of the 65 countries passed laws over the past year to step up electronic surveillance.
In another new strategy, a number of governments are taking aim at encryption by users to avoid surveillance.

Some countries "are trying to stigmatize encryption," Kelly said, citing Turkey as one example.

"They are saying if you are using encryption you must be a terrorist."

She added that "undermining online encryption and anonymity weakens the Internet for everyone, but especially for human rights activists and independent journalists."
- Criticizing France -
The report said online freedom took a hit in France from new restrictions on online content that could be seen as an "apology for terrorism" and from a new surveillance law.

It also noted France's "sweeping legislation requiring telecommunications carriers and providers to, among other things, install 'black boxes' that enable the government to collect and analyze metadata on their networks."

In Libya, Freedom House cited "a troubling increase in violence against bloggers, new cases of political censorship, and rising prices for Internet and mobile phone services."

In Ukraine, the report highlighted "more prosecutions for content that was critical of the government's policies, as well as increased violence from pro-Russian paramilitary groups against users who posted pro-Ukraine content in the eastern regions."

The report said most countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where the emergence of the "Arab Spring" in 2010 and 2011 was aided in part by activists' use of online social media, were cracking down on government critics.
It cited a case in Morocco where police detained 17-year old rapper Othman Atiq for three months after he criticized authorities in online videos and it said other regimes in the region resorted to "public flogging" of bloggers.

Overall, 18 countries were rated as "free" online, while 28 were classified as "partly free" and 19 "not free."

The most free among the 65 countries assessed was Iceland, followed by Estonia, Canada, Germany, Australia, the United States and Japan.

At the bottom of the list was China, worse than runners-up Syria and Iran in terms of a lack of online freedom. Cuba and Ethiopia rounded out the bottom five.

Freedom House voiced special concern in the report about laws and policies, like France's, requiring Internet firms to keep so-called metadata, which includes the time, origin and destination of online communications.

The report said criticism of the authorities was most likely to attract censorship or punishment. It found authorities in 40 of 65 countries imprisoned people for sharing information concerning politics, religion or society through digital networks, up from 38 in last year's report.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance Arab Today, arab today online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance Arab Today, arab today online freedom hit as governments ramp up surveillance

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today Lufthansa chief eyes up to 78

GMT 11:29 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Lufthansa chief eyes up to 78
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Rouhani at UN defends Iran nuclear deal

GMT 09:41 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Rouhani at UN defends Iran nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

GMT 11:31 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ministry seeks to improve education

GMT 14:49 2017 Sunday ,17 September

Ministry seeks to improve education
Arab Today, arab today China lifts 10-year travel ban

GMT 18:09 2017 Thursday ,21 September

China lifts 10-year travel ban
Arab Today, arab today Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

GMT 12:01 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Intel chips loaded in Waymo

GMT 14:43 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Intel chips loaded in Waymo
Arab Today, arab today Five trends at the Frankfurt auto show

GMT 12:04 2017 Monday ,18 September

Five trends at the Frankfurt auto show
Arab Today, arab today Actress Ream Hhagag prepares for a new film

GMT 09:40 2017 Tuesday ,19 September

Actress Ream Hhagag prepares for a new film
Arab Today, arab today France hopeful of persuading Trump

GMT 06:21 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

France hopeful of persuading Trump

GMT 12:14 2017 Monday ,18 September

Horia Farghaly happy for success of “Case G”

GMT 10:35 2017 Thursday ,14 September

New Zealand opposition looks

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 19:18 2017 Monday ,18 September

5,000 'Dieselgate' deaths in Europe per year

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 04:49 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

WHO urges Yemen to accept vaccines

GMT 16:04 2017 Tuesday ,19 September

Egypt tourism revival steady but slow

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 12:46 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Google likely to buy stake in Taiwan smartphone maker HTC

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday