The US organisation Freedom House placed Estonia among countries of the highest internet freedom. Freedom House studied the situation of internet freedom in 37 countries. The organisation focused its attention on access to the internet, internet limitations, and internet users’ violations.
In addition to Estonia, the organisation classified the United States, Germany, Australia, Great Britain, Italy, the Republic of South Africa, and Brazil among countries with free internet use.
Kenya, Mexico, South Korea, Georgia, Nigeria, Malaysia, India, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Rwanda, Russia, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan and Pakistan are countries of partial internet freedom according to Freedom House.
Thailand, Bahrain, Belarus, Ethiopia, Saudi-Arabia, Vietnam, Tunisia, China, Cuba, Myanmar and Iran were placed among non-free countries.
Estonia took part in the study for the third year running and Freedom House has previously also found Estonia to be a country with free internet. According to Freedom House, Estonia does not have considerable political censorship, no internet users or bloggers have been arrested, and no web 2.0 applications have been blocked. In the opinion of the organisation, Estonia is among the technologically most developed and interneticized world countries.
Freedom House said in the part of its report pertaining to Estonia that the first internet link in the country was opened in 1992 and since then Estonia had become a country where use of the internet was the widest.
The organisation pointed out that the limitations set to the internet in Estonia were some of smallest in the world and that there was no censorship of any kind.
As the only limitation the organisation pointed out the act on the protection of personal information, as well as the act that entered into force in 2010 which obliges organisers of remote gambling to apply for a license of the Tax and Customs Board. Freedom House also mentioned the cyberattacks against Estonia in spring 2007. The organisation said that there had been no attacks against internet journalists in Estonia but added that internet comments sometimes crossed the limit of good taste.
Freedom House said in comment of the study that dangers to internet freedom were growing in the world. Among the most considerable dangers the organisation mentioned cyberattacks, political censorship, and government control over internet infrastructure.
Freedom House, based in New York, is a non-government organisation observing political and civil liberties in world countries. It also issues a yearly world press freedom report.
Source: Estonian Review
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