Freedom House is an index which ranks many different categories of freedoms across many nations around the world. One of the categories they assess is freedom of the net. This is an index which ranks internet freedoms around the world. From 2012-2013, 60 countries were studied. Digital media, interviews, and testing the accessibility of websites were some of the methods used to gain results. Each of the 60 countries received a number, 0 being the most free and 100 the least free. Countries which were assigned a number from 0-30 were considered free, 31-60 partly free and 61-100 not free. A couple examples of countries that were labeled free include the Philippines, the United States, Kenya and Germany. Some examples of countries which were ranked partially free include Morocco, Thailand, Egypt and Jordan. Countries which were ranked not free include China, Sudan, Ethiopia and Cuba. What was found overall was that internet freedom worldwide is in decline, with 34 out of 60 countries assessed in the report having a negative trajectory from 2012 to 2013. There is also an decline in internet freedom over the past year. The report states that this decline is due to new laws controlling web content, the growing arrests of social media users and broad surveillance have been.
Having restrictions on the internet may cause some problems for developing countries which are just starting to actively use the internet, especially in the government, business, health and education sectors. These countries do not want to be controlled and limited to what they can a can and cannot do while surfing the web. It will be interesting to see if this negative trajectory continues in the future and how this affects developing countries and ultimately the digital divide.
For more information check about Freedom House rankings view the website here