Internet Freedom Declined In India, Says Report
China has the worst and Estonia the best score in the internet freedom index prepared by Washington-based think tank Freedom House.
In its “Freedom on the Net 2016” report, Freedom House said India scored 41 (with 0 as best and 100 as worst) for internet freedom.
The firm classified India’s net freedom status as “partly free” in its study period between June 2015 and May of this year.
“Internet freedom declined slightly in 2016, offsetting gains made in 2014 and 2015. The number of network shutdowns ordered by local authorities increased dramatically,” the firm said in its report.
The number of internet shutdowns has increased significantly in the past two years in India, it said quoting reports.
As in past years, Jammu and Kashmir had the highest number of documented incidents, including a shutdown that affected both mobile and fixed-line connections, in some cases for weeks at a time, in summer 2016.
After Jammu and Kashmir, the highest numbers of shutdowns were recorded in the state of Gujarat, it said.
"Local authorities ordered service providers to temporarily shut down Internet access in at least 23 reported incidents in various states. In 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the use of broad powers provided to state governments under the criminal procedure code to shut down internet services," the report stated.
The Supreme Court also upheld laws criminalising defamation which apply to both online and offline speech.
And what worked in India’s favour are the strong net neutrality regulations that were implemented following sustained digital advocacy.
Internet penetration in India continued to increase in 2016 with mobile penetration playing a significant role.
"Inadequate infrastructure remains a significant obstacle to access, especially in rural areas; however, various governmental and non-governmental efforts to improve access nationwide are underway," the report said
India’s neighbor Pakistan has been included in the list of countries with lowest score for “Freedom on the Net”.
The only countries that ranked below Pakistan included China, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Cuba, Uzbekistan and Bahrain.
- Lucknow's Tunday Kababi Shuts Outlet
- Passengers on Wait List Can Tavel in Rajdhani
- Centre to Scrap 7 Appellate Tribunals
- 400 TMC Members Join BJP in Tripura
- Wonderful, Precise And Very Cool: How Do Our Money Up-Chucking Machines Work?
- "I'm Only Passing Through" 10 Leonard Cohen Songs That You Must Listen To
- Blackout For NDTV Stirs The Media
- Daily Curator: The Dominion Of Misunderstood Men Over Headlines
- Daily Curator: Of Holes Being Poked Into The Bhopal Encounter And The Origins Of Chyawanprash
- Watch: Viral Video Has Man Lighting Up A Line Of Crackers Attached To His Mouth
- Now is The Time to go Ahead With Ram Temple Construction, Says Shiv Sena
- Delhi's Iconic Regal Cinema to Close From March 31
- After Shiv Sena MP's Slipper Assault, Air India Mulling Preparing No-Fly List for Unruly Passengers
- 'Medical Attention Cannot Wait': HC Directs Protesting Doctors to Resume Work
- Govt Sanctions Rs 5,021 Crore to 10 States Hit by Disasters
- Plea Against Kejriwal: Court Raps Police for Indecisiveness
- MOST VIEWED
- MOST COMMENTED
- BSF Whistleblower Jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav Is Alive, Wife Denies Rumours Of Death
- What Do Copyright Experts Feel About Wrangle Between Ilayaraja And SPB?
- Digvijaya Blames Rahul Gandhi For Not Acting Decisively To Form Governments
- Two Days After Yogi Adityanath Shut Down 2 Slaughterhouses, Three Meat Shops Set On Fire by Mob In Hathras