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The Internet Is Getting Less Free

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Law enforcement in 47 countries arrested people for posting political, social, or religious speech online, Freedom House says.

Free speech and privacy on the Internet declined globally for the ninth consecutive year according to the Freedom on the Net 2019 report by bipartisan watchdog and think tank Freedom House.

The report's authors cite two main reasons for the decline: increased online election interference — by government and civilian actors alike — and increased government surveillance, both of which are spreading on social media platforms.

"In addition to facilitating the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation during election periods, social media platforms have enabled the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data on entire populations," the report says. "The future of Internet freedom rests on our ability to fix social media."

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