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Freedom on the Net 2022: Countering an Authoritarian Overhaul of the Internet

“Global internet freedom declined for a 12th consecutive year as more governments erected digital barriers designed to censor dissent and monitor users, according to a report released today by Freedom House. The study finds that more than three-quarters of the world’s internet users now live in countries where authorities punish people for exercising their right to free expression online. The sharpest drop in internet freedom took place in Russia, as the Kremlin intensified its efforts to stifle domestic opposition and muzzle independent media in the wake of its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The new report, Freedom on the Net 2022: Countering an Authoritarian Overhaul of the Internet, finds that the internet is more fragmented than ever, with a record number of governments imposing restrictions on what billions of people can access and share online—whether by blocking foreign websites, hoarding personal data, or increasing control over their countries’ technical infrastructure. The moves by repressive leaders, both within their borders and on the international stage, seek to divide the open internet into a patchwork of repressive enclaves where they can advance their narrow interests and cement their hold on power…”

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