Freedom on the Net is Freedom House’s annual survey and analysis of internet freedom around the world. This cutting-edge project consists of ground-breaking research and analysis, fact-based advocacy, and on-the-ground capacity building.
Freedom on the Net is a collaborative effort between Freedom House staff and a network of more than 80 researchers, who come from civil society organizations, academia, journalism, and other backgrounds, covering 70 countries. In repressive environments, Freedom House takes care to ensure researchers’ anonymity and/or works with experts living abroad.
This report was made possible by the generous support of Amazon, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Google, the Internet Society, the Lilly Endowment, the New York Community Trust, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), and Verizon. Freedom House is committed to editorial independence. Our donors do not influence the organization’s research priorities, report findings, or policy recommendations.
Freedom House staff
- Adrian Shahbaz, Director, Technology and Democracy
- Allie Funk, Senior Research Analyst, Technology and Democracy
- Amy Slipowitz, Research Manager, Freedom in the World
- Kian Vesteinsson, Research Analyst, Technology and Democracy
- Grant Baker, Research Associate, Technology and Democracy
- Cathryn Grothe, Research Associate
- Manisha Vepa, Research Associate
- Tessa Weal, Research Associate, Technology and Democracy
Elisha Aaron, David Meijer, Shannon O’Toole, and Tyler Roylance edited Freedom on the Net. Michael Abramowitz, Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Annie Boyajian, Isabel Linzer, Sarah Repucci, Nate Schenkkan, and Jennifer Stapleton provided valuable feedback on the summary of findings. Noah Buyon served as an adviser on Europe and Eurasia, while Sarah Cook and Angeli Datt served as advisers for China and Taiwan. Moosa Waraich provided research assistance.
- Argentina: Eduardo Ferreyra, independent researcher
- Armenia: Samvel Martirosyan, co-founder of CyberHUB-AM
- Australia: Rose Dlougatch, lawyer
- Azerbaijan: Arzu Geybulla, Azerbaijan Internet Watch
- Brazil: Bruna Martins dos Santos, Advocacy Coordinator at Data Privacy Brazil Research
- Cambodia: Chak Sopheap, Cambodian Center for Human Rights
- Canada: Allen Mendelsohn, independent legal practitioner and McGill University Faculty of Law
- Colombia: Luisa Fernanda Isaza Ibarra, independent researcher
- Costa Rica: Luisa Ochoa Chaves, Freedom of Expression, Right to Information and Public Opinion Program (PROLEDI) and Communication Research Center (CICOM), University of Costa Rica (UCR); Giselle Boza Solano, PROLEDI UCR; Oscar Jimenez Alvarado, PROLEDI UCR
- Cuba: Ted A. Henken, Baruch College, City University of New York
- Ecuador: Iria Puyosa, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Comunicación
- Estonia: Hille Hinsberg and Kaspar Kala, Proud Engineers
- Ethiopia: Atnafu Brhane, Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy
- France: Suzanne Vergnolle, postdoctoral researcher at Institut suisse de droit comparé
- Georgia: Teona Turashvili, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
- Germany: Stina Lohmüller and Michael Puntschuh, iRights.Lab
- Hungary: Dalma Dojcsák, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
- Iceland: Arnaldur Sigurðarson, independent researcher
- Indonesia: Sherly Haristya, independent researcher
- Iran: Melody Kazemi, Small Media
- Iraq: Hayder Hamzoz and Asia Abdulkareem, Iraqi Network for Social Media
- Italy: Philip Di Salvo, London School of Economics and Università della Svizzera italiana; Antonella Napolitano, Privacy International
- Japan: Hamada Tadahisa, Japan Computer Access for Empowerment
- Jordan: Issa Mahasneh, Jordan Open Source Association
- Kazakhstan: Adil Nurmakov, independent researcher; Yelzhan Kabyshev, director of Digital Paradigm Foundation
- Lebanon: Marianne Rahme, SMEX
- Libya: Muhammad Jaballa, independent researcher
- Malawi: Jimmy Kainja, University of Malawi
- Malaysia: Kelly Koh, Sinar Project
- Mexico: Mariel García-Montes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Myanmar: Free Expression Myanmar
- Nicaragua: Abdías Zambrano, Gabriel Cajiga, and Marion Briancesco, IPANDETEC Central America
- Nigeria: 'Gbenga Sesan, Paradigm Initiative
- Serbia: Mila Bajić, Bojan Perkov, and Anka Kovačević, SHARE Foundation
- Singapore: Kirsten Han, independent researcher
- South Africa: Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti, Ampofo-Anti Consulting
- South Korea: Yenn Lee, SOAS University of London
- Sri Lanka: Raisa Wickrematunge, independent researcher
- Sudan: Reem Abbas, independent researcher and writer
- Taiwan: Ming-Syuan Ho, independent researcher
- Thailand: Emilie Pradichit, Manushya Foundation
- The Gambia: Demba Kandeh, University of The Gambia
- Tunisia: Yosr Jouini, independent researcher
- Turkey: Gürkan Özturan, Media Freedom Rapid Response Coordinator at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
- Ukraine: Olga Kyryliuk, independent legal practitioner and researcher
- United Kingdom: Aaron Ceross, University of Oxford
- United States: Alex Rochefort, Boston University
- Uzbekistan: Ernest Zhanaev, independent researcher
- Venezuela: Raisa Urribarri, Universidad de Los Andes (Emeritus)
- Vietnam: Trinh Huu Long, Legal Initiatives for Vietnam
Researchers for Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe wished to remain anonymous.
- Christopher Ali, Associate Professor for Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia
- Endalkachew Chala, Hamline University
- Ernesto Falcon, independent researcher
- K Kabilan, independent researcher
- Ndesanjo Macha, independent researcher
- Alice E. Marwick, Associate Professor of Communication and Principal Researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Bulanda T. Nkhowani, Program Officer, Southern Africa at Paradigm Initiative
- Lizzie O’Shea, Co-Founder and Chair, Digital Rights Watch Australia
- Riana Pfefferkorn, Stanford Internet Observatory
- Xiao Qiang, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times and research scientist at the School of Information, University of California Berkeley
The Freedom on the Net team expresses their gratitude to the global internet freedom community, including the many individuals and organizations whose tireless and courageous work informs this report.
How to cite this report
Please use the following citation when referencing the report, its summary of findings, or select country reports:
Shahbaz, Funk, Slipowitz, Vesteinsson, Baker, Grothe, Vepa, Weal eds. Freedom on the Net 2021, Freedom House, 2021, freedomonthenet.org.
Shahbaz and Funk, “The Global Drive to Control Big Tech,” in Shahbaz, Funk, Slipowitz, Vesteinsson, Baker, Grothe, Vepa, Weal eds. Freedom on the Net 2021, Freedom House, 2021, freedomonthenet.org.
“Angola,” in Shahbaz, Funk, Slipowitz, Vesteinsson, Baker, Grothe, Vepa, Weal eds. Freedom on the Net 2021, Freedom House, 2021, freedomonthenet.org.
Explore Freedom on the Net 2021
The Global Drive to Control Big Tech
In the high-stakes battle between states and technology companies, the rights of internet users have become the main casualties.
The Continued Assault on Internet Freedom
See a rundown of global findings and prominent changes to countries’ internet freedom scores.
The Promise and Peril of State Regulation
Global norms have shifted toward greater state intervention in the digital market.