Internet Freedom

The internet is a crucial medium through which people can express themselves and share ideas and has become an increasingly important tool through which democracy and human rights activists mobilize and advocate for political, social, and economic reform. Fearing the power of the new technologies, authoritarian states have devised subtle and not-so-subtle ways to filter, monitor, and otherwise obstruct or manipulate the openness of the internet. Even a number of democratic states have considered or implemented various restrictions in response to the potential legal, economic, and security challenges raised by new media.  Responding to these challenges, Freedom House conducts research and produces analysis on levels of internet freedom, conducts advocacy domestically and internationally to protect internet freedom, and conducts an array of programs designed to assist human rights and democracy activists safely use the internet for mobilizing their constituents and communicating their ideas.


Research & Reports

Freedom on the Net 2015

Internet freedom around the world has declined for the fifth consecutive year, with more governments censoring information of public interest and placing greater demands on the private sector to take down offending content. The goal of these restrictions is usually to protect powerful figures and the official views on religion or morality that may undergird leaders’ popularity.

Freedom on the Net 2014

Global internet freedom has declined for a fourth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2014, Freedom House’s annual assessment of internet user rights in 65 countries.


The internet offers activists and everyday users around the world a space to interact in unprecedented ways to freely communicate, express opinions, and break down social, political, and economic barriers. The internet, however, is not immune from the global authoritarian crackdown on civil society and freedom of expression.

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