Internet has become one of the most easy and affordable medium to express an opinion. It is increasingly becoming a tool for enforcing the ideals of democracy. However as always governments have always tried to glean the psyche of the masses and the Internet has also become one of the best medium to gauge the mood of the populace. Efforts have always been done to gag the media in the past or in the least try to monitor them.
2014 was not a very significant year when it came to Internet freedom. This conclusion was derived b y a blunt study which was conducted to gauge the level of Internet Freedom. Additionally the report also came hard on both Russia and China where the internet freedom was at its tenuous most.
The year saw the Russian strongman Vladimir Putin calling the internet a special CIA project, it saw Twitter shutdown in Turkey. Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, as well as Google, had to endure the official Chinese wrath for the umpteenth time. There were massive protests and it culminated with the eventual shutting down of Instagram in China.
A Freedom House study revealed that 53% of the total countries which were surveyed reported a fall in Internet Freedom since the mid 2013.
The survey also outlined what it called choking of freedom by 41 countries that had in its words
“Passed or proposed legislation to penalize legitimate forms of speech online, increase government powers to control content, or expand government surveillance capabilities.”
Countries which stood out for its declining Internet Freedom included Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The worst countries when it came to allowing Web freedom were Iran, Syria and China.
The fourth estate is predicting more gag on internet freedom in the coming months. Governments will try to keep a tight leash on Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other American-owned Internet giants.
It is nothing new under the Sun with the open and democratic governments at least keeping a hawk eye on the bits of data flowing in the World Wide Web.