Authorities around the world are expanding censorship and surveillance of the web as online freedom that is overall declined for the fifth consecutive year, according to a report from a group that tracks democracy and human rights.
Nearly half of 65 nations analyzed have found online independence weaken since June 2014, Freedom House said in a yearly survey released on Wednesday.
Certainly one of the steepest declines occurred in France, which passed a law that lots of observers likened in the aftermath earlier in 2013, according to the report.
Libya, and Ukraine, mired in a territorial conflict with Russia also experienced sudden falls.
The report highlighted China as the country with the most severe limitations on Internet independence, followed by Syria and Iran.
Zambia and Sri Lanka, each of which recently experienced changes in government leadership, were credited with making the largest improvements in total online independence.
Overall, 14 nations adopted laws within the past year to expand government surveillance, the report found.
Bucking that trend, legislation was passed by America in June that efficiently terminates the National Security Agency’s controversial mass collection of US phone metadata, a program exposed in 2013 Edward Snowden by former NSA contractor.
In addition, many authorities took more competitive stances against internet and encryption anonymity technologies in 2013.