In a report titled, “Freedom on the Net 2018: The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism,” an independent human rights watchdog, Freedom House, has uncovered alarming levels of declining Internet freedom across the world.
The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism
Freedom House is a non-governmental organization dedicated to upholding democracy and human rights. The organization has been in existence since 1941 and creates many resources designed to give insights to the varying levels of freedom in different countries.
The “Freedom on the Net 2018: The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism” is an intensive look into the online freedoms of citizens of 65 countries on the globe. The countries covered in the report represent 87 percent of global Internet usage. The report is an annual publication, tracking improvements and declines in Internet freedom conditions each year. The nations studied in the report are selected to represent diverse geographical regions and regime types. Moreover, in-depth reports on each country are also available.
To create the report, analysts created a 21-question opinion poll that queried respondents on a number of metrics through which it is possible to gauge Internet freedoms. These include Internet access, freedom of expression, and privacy issues. This is the eighth iteration of the Internet Freedom report and focuses on the period between June 2017 and May 2018.
The report has revealed alarming trends in global Internet freedoms. It has been determined that online freedom has declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Additionally, the report found that while the Internet was initially a tool for mass communication and allowed many people across the world to have unbridled access to information, it has since turned into a tool for disinformation and propaganda. Moreover, many governments are favoring digital authoritarianism and are taking significant steps to make this a reality.