Report Details Declining Internet Freedoms in Southeast Asia

None of the eight Southeast Asian nations monitored by the U.S.-funded organization Freedom House had an online sphere classified as “free.”
The most recent Freedom on the Net report, released by the United States-funded group Freedom House, is not that interesting to read. The annual research, which this year evaluated the level of internet freedom in 70 countries, concluded that, as countries tried to fortify their boundaries with one another, internet openness worldwide fell for the 12th year in a row.

RELATED: Internet freedom continued to decline in Turkey: Freedom House

A yearly report by Freedom House on global internet freedom reveals that internet freedom continued to decline for the fourth year in a row in Turkey and that thousands of online users, including members of the political opposition, faced criminal charges for their social media activities during the period covered, Turkish Minute reported.

According to the research, only 18% of internet users worldwide reside in countries that Freedom House classified “free” between June 2021 and May 2022. More than 75 percent “today reside in nations where citizens are subject to punishment for engaging in online free speech.”

RELATED: Internet freedom suffers under Russian, Chinese governments, report finds

Russia saw the sharpest drop in internet freedom while digital users in China faced the world’s worst conditions for unfettered online access and speech for an eighth consecutive year, a U.S. watchdog group said Tuesday in its latest global report on the issue.

“At home and on the international stage, authoritarians are on a campaign to divide the open internet into a patchwork of repressive enclaves,” the report stated by way of introduction. “More governments than ever are exerting control over what people can access and share online by blocking foreign websites, hoarding personal data, and centralizing their countries’ technical infrastructure.”

RELATED: PH enjoys ‘internet freedoms’ but under threat of disinformation – study

The Philippines enjoys more internet freedoms than its neighbors in Southeast Asia, but these freedoms remain under threat because of disinformation, especially before and during the May 2022 general elections, according to a new report released on Tuesday by the Washington-based watchdog Freedom House.

Techniques mentioned in the report include internet shutdowns, blocks on foreign websites and social media platforms, restrictions on circumvention tools like VPNs, and laws restricting foreign websites and content. It was stated in the report that a “record number of governments [are] blocking political, social, or religious content, often targeting information sources based outside of their borders.”

RELATED: Taiwan ranks fifth worldwide in Internet freedom

Taiwan ranked fifth in Internet freedom worldwide and first in Asia, while China remained at the bottom of the list, an annual report released yesterday by the US nonprofit organization Freedom House said.

No region encapsulates this trend quite like Southeast Asia. None of the eight nations covered by the report rated as “free,” while five rated “partly free,” and three rated “not free.”

RELATED: Vietnam ranked world’s fifth worst country for internet freedom

Freedom House’s study classifies it as having “no freedom” on the internet.

Vietnam is among the worst countries for respecting internet freedom, according to a study by Freedom House, a New York-based non-profit organization funded mainly by the U.S. government.


by: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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