'Freedom on the Net 2014' report

Date: December 13, 2014

‘Freedom on the Net 2014′ report

‘Freedom on the Net 2014′ report

‘Freedom on the Net 2014′ report says that India is only “partly free” with a rank of 30 out of 65 countries in Internet freedom but as of May this year, it has improved its score.

The improvement in India’s score, from 47 out of 100 in 2012-13 to 42 out of 100 in 2013-14, is the largest by any country. Among BRICS and South Asian nations, Brazil and South Africa rank better.
Countries are ranked on 21 categories under three broad heads — obstacles to access, limits on content and violations of individuals’ rights.
‘Freedom on the Net 2014′ report is released by Freedom House, an independent US-based watchdog group.
Other observations made by the Report:

India improved because of the reduced number of incidents in which ICT (Information Communications Technology) connectivity and access was restricted, the relative transparency in allocation of spectrum; less content blocking and reduced known incidents of physical attacks on internet users for content posted online.
Key Internet controls that existed in India between May 2013 and May 2014 included political, social, and/or religious content being blocked, localised or nationwide shutting down of information communication technology, pro-government commentators manipulating online discussions and Internet or phone users being arrested for political or social writings.
Mass blocks on access like those imposed following the Kokrajhar riots in 2012 did not occur in 2013 but court-imposed blocks increased. Of particular cause for concern in India, along with the infamous Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, is the proposed web filter.
Besides retrieving data from intermediaries, the government’s own surveillance equipment is becoming more sophisticated. A Central Monitoring System (CMS), which will allow government agencies to intercept any online activities, phone calls, text messages and even social media conversations in real time by directly accessing interception equipment on intermediary premises, has caused widespread concern.
Political parties are often thought to be impacting content on the Internet, and major ones mobilised thousands of supporters using social networks in advance of the 2014 election.
Globally, Internet freedom declined for the fourth consecutive year. “Authoritarian and democratic leaders alike believe the Internet is ripe for regulation and passed laws that strengthen official powers to police online content.