A new study indicates that governments continue to keep tightening the noose on internet freedom. This trend is seen in all countries.
The study reveals a decline in the freedom to get internet access for the 5th year in a row worldwide. Data on this issue by the non-governmental organization Freedom House was published in a special report on Wednesday.
The study reveals how the majority of governments are censoring information that's of public interest. At the same time, they are increasing surveillance and decreasing the ability to remain anonymous.
The worst decline in internet freedom is seen in countries such as Libya, the Ukraine and Russia. Data shows that 58% of the world's population lives in a country where users are massively being tried and put in jail for sharing online content of a social, religious or political subject matter. Freedom of speech on the internet has declined in 32 of the 65 countries included in the study.
In 42 of the countries, authorities have required that private companies limit the access to or delete web content related to political, religious or social problems. In the past year, 37 countries have asked the same. 40 of these have even denied people the ability to freely comment on such subjects.
Out of all 65 countries, 15 have passed new laws that allow the strict observation of everything happening on the internet. Many others have improved their surveillance technology multiple times over.
Besides everything else, according to Freedom House's annual report, 2015 has shown a tendency of governments imposing control and pressure on workers in the private sector. They use the companies Alphabet (Google's new parent company), Facebook and Twitter, to directly censor the content that's supposed to be published.
China gets the lowest grade on the list - 88, followed closely by Iran and Syria with 87 each. Iceland, Estonia, Canada, Germany, Australia, the US, Japan and Italy have the lowest percentage of people who don't have freedom of web access.