The world’s authoritarian regimes seek to repress citizens who demand a society where all are free. But the repression does not stop at the border. Increasingly, these regimes understand that domestic repression alone will not ensure their survival. Over the past two decades, they have extended their influence beyond their own borders in an attempt to silence their critics in exile, subvert democratic governments, and reshape international norms and institutions to serve their own interests.
While authoritarians have gained ground during the past 17 years of global democratic decline, they are not invulnerable or unbeatable. The effects of corruption and a focus on political control at the expense of competence have exposed the limits of the authoritarian models offered by regimes in Beijing, Moscow, Caracas, and Tehran. Throughout the countries living under repressive regimes, there are openings for democratic progress.
Freedom House’s work on countering authoritarianism includes documenting and fighting back against the growing threat of transnational repression, tracking and countering the Chinese Communist Party’s influence inside and outside China’s borders, and measuring and strengthening internet freedom worldwide.
Freedom House is a leading authority on transnational repression, which occurs when governments threaten or attack dissenters among exiles and diaspora communities.
We are mapping the global scale and scope of transnational repression, and promoting policy recommendations on how host nations can better protect those at risk through reforms in areas like law enforcement, national security, and migration.
Reports on Transnational Repression
Out of Sight, Not Out of Reach
Freedom House mapped the global scale and scope of transnational repression in this landmark 2021 report.
Defending Democracy in Exile
Our second report on transnational repression explains how host states can better protect exiles and diasporas within their borders.
Still Not Safe
Our 2023 report found that the problem of transnational repression is only growing more dire as additional regimes turn to violence and other brutal tactics to silence dissent abroad.
Freedom House has been shining a spotlight on the Chinese government’s influence on the local and global information landscape for over a decade, through the China Media Bulletin, the Hong Kong Media Bulletin, the China Dissent Monitor, and the Beijing’s Global Media Influence report.
The China Media Bulletin is a monthly email newsletter that provides unique insight on censorship, media freedom, and internet freedom issues related to the People's Republic of China, drawing on both English and Chinese-language sources.
The Hong Kong Media Bulletin is a monthly email newsletter focused on media freedom and freedom of expression issues in Hong Kong, drawing on both English and Chinese-language sources.
The China Dissent Monitor provides interactive research findings on collective protest actions in public spaces and cases of online dissent, filling a critical information gap in a country with severe media restrictions and risks associated with open criticism of the authorities. The project includes a quarterly analysis of documented incidents and trends related to public demonstrations in China.
Our 2022 report Beijing’s Global Media Influence (BGMI) documents the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese state media, and related actors are using more sophisticated, covert, and coercive tactics—including censorship and intimidation, fake social media accounts, and mass distribution of Beijing-backed content via mainstream media—to spread their preferred narratives, promote falsehoods, and suppress unfavorable news coverage.
Spotlight on China
Emerging information and communication technologies have had a profound impact on democracy around the world. They have provided new paths for civic mobilization and the dissemination of news and commentary, but they are also vulnerable to censorship, surveillance, and exploitation by antidemocratic forces. Freedom House is working to counteract the rising tide of government control over the internet. In addition to tracking and monitoring the state of global online freedom, we work to empower local experts in dozens of countries to speak up for the rights of internet users and assist activists in recovering from digital attacks.
Freedom on the Net is Freedom House’s annual survey and analysis of internet freedom in 70 countries around the world, covering 88 percent of global internet users. It measures the ways that governments and non-state actors around the world restrict our rights online. Each of the country assessments includes a detailed narrative report and numerical score, based on methodology developed in consultation with international experts. The score corresponds to a status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.
The key trends and emerging threats highlighted in Freedom on the Net are used in national and international advocacy campaigns by Freedom House. Our findings are also used by activists worldwide in working for change, by international development agencies in designing programs and determining aid recipients, by tech companies for business decisions and risk assessments, by journalists who cover human rights online, by governments and policymakers, and by scholars and experts.
Freedom on the Net 2023
Read the 2023 Report
Advances in artificial intelligence are increasing the scale, speed, and efficiency of digital repression. Explore Freedom on the Net 2023: The Repressive Power of Artificial Intelligence.
Explore the Map
Explore the status of internet freedom around the world through the Freedom on the Net 2023 interactive map.
Reports by Country
Visit this link to view all Freedom on the Net 2023 scores and read individual country reports and analysis.