Freedom on the Net 2015 finds internet freedom around the world in decline for a fifth consecutive year as more governments censored information of public interest while also expanding surveillance and cracking down on privacy tools.
- Content removals increased: Authorities in 42 of the 65 countries assessed required private companies or internet users to restrict or delete web content dealing with political, religious, or social issues, up from 37 the previous year.
- Arrests and intimidation escalated: Authorities in 40 of 65 countries imprisoned people for sharing information concerning politics, religion or society through digital networks.
- Surveillance laws and technologies multiplied: Governments in 14 of 65 countries passed new laws to increase surveillance since June 2014 and many more upgraded their surveillance equipment.
- Governments undermined encryption, anonymity: Democracies and authoritarian regimes alike stigmatized encryption as an instrument of terrorism, and many tried to ban or limit tools that protect privacy.