According to a new report from the group monitoring internet freedom, digital authoritarianism is on the rise. Freedom House, a pro-democracy state, said today that the government is using nominal laws to deal with "fake news" in order to curb complaints while strengthening control over user data. It is the eighth consecutive year that Freedom House has found a decline in online freedom around the world.
"The obvious theme in this report is the growing awareness that the Internet is becoming more and more familiar with free technology, which confuses democracy without destabilizing dictators," said Freedom House Mike Abramowitz said at a news conference. "Propaganda and information are becoming increasingly addicted to the digital realm and authoritarians and populists are fighting against false news that put prestigious journalists and social media critics in jail through criminalizing the spread of false information" 19659003] The United States reduced Internet freedom in 2018 due to the withdrawal of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) network neutrality rules. Other countries are much worse. Seventeen of the 65 respondents selected online media regulation. Thirteen of them indicted citizens suspected of spreading false information. Freedom House also accepts Chinese technology and training in China to export worldwide censorship and surveillance systems.
Of course there is a trade-off between freedom and security There is. The report criticizes Sri Lanka and India for stopping Internet access on a regular basis in response to ethnic and religious disputes, or for limited Sri Lanka and India. In both cases, civilians were murdered by mobs who were exposed to misinformation spread through social media.
"Stopping Internet services is a drunk response, especially with citizens shouting rumors, with loved ones, or avoiding dangerous areas," said Adrian Shahbaz, director of technology and democracy research. "Though intentional forgery is a real problem, some governments are increasingly using fake news & # 39; to foster control over information and oppressing opposition."
- Of the state increased the state. From June 2017 to now, we have been doing 15 surveillance, and the company is considering a new "data protection" bill that can store user data locally and require easier access to government agencies.
- Governments in 32 countries used paid narrators, bots, and trolls to manipulate online conversations. WhatsApp and other closed messaging applications are becoming more popular for manipulation.
- There is a bright spot. The authors trust Armenian citizens to use social media, communications apps and live streaming services to enable a peaceful revolution earlier this year. In Ethiopia, the new prime minister promised to release bloggers and activists and relax restrictions on online communications.