The Freedom House human rights organization published the next annual Internet freedom rating in the world.
China remains the main violator of Internet freedom in the world, while the CIS countries are not far behind it in this area.
In addition to the Baltic countries from the countries of the former USSR, today Internet freedom is only in Armenia and Georgia, Freedom House believes.
In Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, the Internet is “partially free,” and in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan it is “not free.”
Armenia and Georgia took 10th and 13th places in the report, respectively, and Azerbaijan was on the 45th place.
The section on Azerbaijan says that the country has repeatedly turned off Internet channels, blocked dozens of local and international sites, and limited access to social networks. All this was done in order to “drown out” the voices of those dissatisfied with the authorities and thwart the mobilization of activists for protests using social networks. Among the main problems are the following:
In December, the Court of Appeal in Baku upheld the government’s decision to block several online media outlets. The country’s Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal’s ruling in June 2018.
Independent news websites and opposition activists suffered cyber attacks ahead of April’s snap presidential election.
Legislative amendments to Azerbaijan’s Code of Administrative Offenses imposed new fines for distributing illegal content online.
Multiple online journalists, bloggers, and social media users were detained for their online activity, with sentences of up to six years in prison.
The report contains dozens of examples confirming the above violations.
Freedom House examined 65 countries of the world, in which 87% of all Web users in the world live. 40 of these countries use user tracking programs.
Rating of countries by the level of Internet access:
1. Iceland, 2. Estonia, 3. Canada, 4. Germany, 5. Australia, 6. United Kingdom, 7. USA, 10. Georgia, 13. Armenia.
In the last positions:
22. Kyrgyzstan, 33. Ukraine, 45. Azerbaijan, 48. Belarus, 50. Kazakhstan, 51. Russia, 58. Uzbekistan, 64. Iran, 65. China.