Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pandemic Fuels Global Decline in Internet Freedom

 A new study warns the coronavirus pandemic is feeding a global decline in internet freedom and contributing to a broader crisis for democracies.

A man uses a computer in Dongguan, China. China ranked last in the Freedom House analysis of internet freedom for the sixth consecutive year.(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Kaia Hubbard
US News

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced lockdowns and limited access to workspaces, schools and public venues, internet access is more important than ever before. But according to a recent report from Freedom House, not all access is equal around the world, and it's trending downward.

Globally, internet freedom saw its 10th consecutive year of decline, according to the annual report, which evaluated internet freedom in 65 countries. While 23 countries registered net gains in internet freedom, 26 countries saw worse scores than last year.

"The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating a dramatic decline in global internet freedom," according to the authors of the report. "For the 10th consecutive year, users have experienced an overall deterioration in their rights, and the phenomenon is contributing to a broader crisis for democracy worldwide."  Read more >>