Freedom on the Net 2017

Key Internet Controls By Country

Freedom House documented how governments censor and control the digital sphere.

Click one of the Key Internet Control below to highlight the countries on the map and the corresponding column in the table.

  • Blocking social media / communication apps i icon for more information
    Entire apps or key functions of social media, messaging, and calling platforms temporarily or permanently blocked to prevent communication and information sharing.
  • Political, social, or religious censorship i icon for more information
    Blocking or filtering of domains, URLs, or keywords, to limit access to specific political, social, or religious content.
  • Network shutdowns i icon for more information
    Intentional disruption of internet or cellphone networks in response to political or social events, whether temporary or long term, localized or nationwide.
  • Progovernment commentators i icon for more information
    Strong indications that individuals are paid to manipulate the digital information landscape in the government’s favor, without acknowledging sponsorship.
  • New censorship law i icon for more information
    Any legislation or directive adopted or amended during the coverage period which increases web censorship or penalties for legitimate online activity.
  • New surveillance law i icon for more information
    Any legislation or directive adopted or amended during the coverage period which increases state surveillance, undermines privacy, or restricts anonymity.
  • Free speech prosecutions/detentions i icon for more information
    Any arrest, prosecution, prolonged detention that is credibly perceived to be in reprisal for digital expression protected under international norms, including trumped up charges.
  • Physical violence i icon for more information
    Any physical attack, kidnapping, or killing that is credibly perceived to be in reprisal for digital expression, including while in custody (torture).
  • Technical attacks i icon for more information
    Cyberattacks against human rights organizations, news websites, and government critics with the clear intent of disabling content or exposing user data.
Control Occurred
Countries assessed
Countries not assessed
COUNTRY # KICs employed
Blocking social media / communication apps
Political, social, or religious censorship
Network shutdowns
Progovernment commentators
New censorship law
New surveillance law
Free speech prosecutions/detentions
Physical violence
Technical attacks
FOTN score
Angola 1 40
Argentina 1 27
Armenia 3 32
Australia 0 21
Azerbaijan 9 58
Bahrain 7 72
Bangladesh 4 54
Belarus 7 64
Brazil 3 33
Cambodia 3 52
Canada 0 15
China 9 87
Colombia 0 32
Cuba 5 79
Ecuador 4 43
Egypt 7 68
Estonia 0 6
Ethiopia 9 86
France 3 26
Gambia, The 7 67
Georgia 1 24
Germany 1 20
Hungary 2 29
Iceland 0 6
India 5 41
Indonesia 7 47
Iran 6 85
Italy 0 25
Japan 0 23
Jordan 4 53
Kazakhstan 7 62
Kenya 2 29
Kyrgyzstan 1 37
Lebanon 4 46
Libya 1 54
Malawi 1 42
Malaysia 4 44
Mexico 4 39
Morocco 4 45
Myanmar 5 63
Nigeria 1 34
Pakistan 7 71
Philippines 3 28
Russia 8 66
Rwanda 5 53
Saudi Arabia 6 72
Singapore 2 41
South Africa 0 25
South Korea 2 35
Sri Lanka 1 43
Sudan 3 64
Syria 6 86
Thailand 6 67
Tunisia 2 38
Turkey 7 66
Uganda 3 41
Ukraine 8 45
United Arab Emirates 7 69
United Kingdom 1 24
United States 1 21
Uzbekistan 6 77
Venezuela 6 63
Vietnam 6 76
Zambia 2 41
Zimbabwe 2 56
June 2016 – May 2017 coverage period 25 31 19 30 17 14 42 30 34

Each colored cell represents at least one occurrence of the cited control during the report’s coverage period of June 2016 to May 2017; cells with an asterisk (*) represent events that occurred after the coverage period until September 2017, when the report was sent to print. The Key Internet Controls reflect restrictions on political, social, or religious content. Click here for a full explanation of the methodology.