Freedom House, Washington D.C. based non-governmental organization, has released the Freedom On the Net, 2018 report. In the latest internet freedoms rankings, India scored 43(the lower the score, the better).
This year India saw a dip of two points in comparison to the last year’s report by Freedom House.
Over the past year, India has seen incidents of fake news affect their social fabric. The internet in the country was reportedly used to propagate hateful messages resulting in outbreaks of violence against religious minorities. Another factor responsible for India’s mediocre ranking is the number of internet shutdowns that took place in recent times. In 2018 itself, the internet was shut down 100 times at least, most by any country. Multiple breaches of Aadhar, India’s national biometric database, has also resulted in the decline in rankings.
India in Partly Free Category
The report divided countries into three categories, viz, Free(eg. Armenia, Germany, Japan, UK), Partly Free(eg. India, Uganda, Mexico), Not Free(eg. Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela). India falls under the Partly Free Category.
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Ranking in Asia-Pacific
India, with a score of 43 ranks sixth in Asia-Pacific. Australia(score – 21), Japan(score – 25), Philippines(score – 31), South Korea(score – 36), Singapore(score – 41) are placed at the top 5 spots. China(score – 88), Vietnam(score – 76) and Pakistan(score – 73) performed the worst amongst countries from the Asia-Pacific region.
Iceland, Estonia, Canada lead the chart with 6, 6 and 15 Freedom On The Net score.