Freedom on the Net 2011

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Recently, Freedom House has released its report Freedom on the Net 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media. The report contains information about internet freedom in 37 countries. It says that the violation of users’ rights has increased and has become more varied during the last few years. Among the main threats to online freedom are the cyber attacks, politically-motivated censorship and government control over internet infrastructure.

Bans against access, restrictions on content and users’ rights violations were the major points of evaluation regarding internet freedom  in the countries studied. In accordance with the report, Estonia has the highest level of internet freedom. The United States are on second place and Iran is last. Eleven other countries are evaluated as "Not Free", among them Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. There are also plans to restrict the internet freedom during the next twelve months in countries  such as Jordan, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

The situation is very difficult in the countries where internet is under the total control of the governments. Sanja Kelly, managing editor of the report, claimed that “the ability to communicate political views, organize, debate, and have access to critical information is as important online as it is in the offline world. A more urgent response is needed to protect bloggers and other internet users from the sorts of restrictions that repressive governments have already imposed on traditional media”.

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