Freedom on the Net 2013

Freedom on the Net 2013 is the fourth report in a series of comprehensive studies of internet freedom around the globe and covers developments in 60 countries that occurred between May 2012 and April 2013.

 FOTN 2013_Cover

Issues: 

Internet Freedom

Regions: 

Americas, Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe

 

Despite Pushback, Internet Freedom Deteriorates

Freedom on the Net 2013 is the fourth report in a series of comprehensive studies of internet freedom around the globe and covers developments in 60 countries that occurred between May 2012 and April 2013.

Over 60 researchers, nearly all based in the countries they analyzed, contributed to the project by researching laws and practices relevant to the digital media, testing the accessibility of select websites, and interviewing a wide range of sources, among other research activities. This edition’s findings indicate that internet freedom worldwide is in decline, with 34 out of 60 countries assessed in the report experiencing a negative trajectory during the coverage period. Broad surveillance, new laws controlling web content, and growing arrests of social-media users drove this overall decline in internet freedom in the past year.

Nonetheless, Freedom on the Net 2013 also found that activists are becoming more effective at raising awareness of emerging threats and, in several cases, have helped forestall new repressive measures.

Uganda

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Uganda

Key Developments: May 2012 – April 2013

  • There were no reports of internet content being blocked or filtered during the coverage period, though various government officials publicly expressed the “need” to police online discussions (see Limits on Content).
  • The Uganda Communications Act 2012 was passed in September, creating a new media regulatory body that has been criticized for its lack of independence from the government (see Limits on Content).
  • SIM card and mobile internet registrations continued through early 2013 amid concerns that the registration requirements infringe on the right to privacy given the lack of a necessary data protection law (see Violations of User Rights).
  • Government harassment for online writing was documented, while suspicions of proactive government surveillance of online communications increased in the past year (see Violations of User Rights).
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