Freedom on the Net: The 2011 Report

A report about freedom on the Internet was published recently, a work by the Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that observes and promotes freedom all over the world.

This evaluation aims to measure each country’s level of internet and new media freedom. Each country receives a numerical score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free), which serves as the basis for an internet freedom status designation of Free (0-30 points), Partly Free (31-60 points), or Not Free (61-100).

The scoring considered three broad categories, namely:

  • Obstacles to Access. assesses infrastructural and economic barriers to access; governmental efforts to block specific applications or technologies; and legal, regulatory and ownership control over internet and mobile phone access providers;
  • Limits on Content.examines filtering and blocking of websites; other forms of censorship and self-censorship; manipulation of content; the diversity of online news media; and usage of digital media for social and political activism; and
  • Violations of User Rights. measures legal protections and restrictions on online activity; surveillance; privacy; and repercussions for online activity, such as legal prosecution, imprisonment, physical attacks, or other forms of harassment.

The 2011 study was focused on 37 countries. The results clearly suggest that policies aren't the same everywhere. The following tables show the main results and each country's score.

Classification: Free

#Country0-100 (free-not free)
1Estonia||||| (10)
2USA||||||| (13)
3Germany|||||||| (16)
4Australia||||||||| (18)
5UK||||||||||||| (25)
6Italy||||||||||||| (26)
7South Africa||||||||||||| (26)
8Brazil||||||||||||||| (29)

Classification: Partly Free

#Country0-100 (free-not free)
9Kenya|||||||||||||||| (32)
10Mexico|||||||||||||||| (32)
11South Korea|||||||||||||||| (32)
12Georgia|||||||||||||||||| (35)
13Nigeria|||||||||||||||||| (35)
14India|||||||||||||||||| (36)
15Malaysia||||||||||||||||||||| (41)
16Jordan||||||||||||||||||||| (42)
17Turkey||||||||||||||||||||||| (45)
18Indonesia||||||||||||||||||||||| (46)
19Venezuela||||||||||||||||||||||| (46)
20Azerbaijan|||||||||||||||||||||||| (48)
21Rwanda||||||||||||||||||||||||| (50)
22Russia|||||||||||||||||||||||||| (52)
23Egypt||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (54)
24Zimbabwe||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (54)
25Kazakhstan|||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (55)
26Pakistan|||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (55)

Classification: Not Free

#País0-100 (free-not free)
27Thailand||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (61)
28Bahrain||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (62)
29Belarus||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (69)
30Ethiopia||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (69)
31Saudi Arabia||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (70)
32Vietnam||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (73)
33Tunisia||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (81)
34China|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (83)
35Cuba|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (87)
36Burma|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (88)
37Iran||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (89)

There's still room for improvement in some places, no doubt about that...

The document is available online, as a PDF, and there are two versions: (i) the full report; and (ii) the booklet of key findings.

Go and take a peek.