Everything you love about the Internet is at risk. In January 2012, we censored the VyprVPN logo to join largest Internet protest in history and helped defeat the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation. Yet, more governments are engaging in Internet filtering and censorship than ever before! Internet freedom around the globe has been on the decline for three years straight and unfortunately is only getting worse. Currently, more than 80 percent of the world’s population does not have access to an open and uncensored Internet. Freedom of expression, access to unfiltered information and online privacy could all disappear if you don’t fight back.
Our new infographic The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom highlights the current landscape of declining internet freedom and reinforces the challenges we face. While it’s no surprise that many authoritative governments are now filtering, monitoring, and censoring the internet, our infographic shows that many democratic countries are increasingly imposing various internet restrictions due to the security challenges created by new media. Governments worldwide continue to view the Internet as a threat and a tool for censorship, surveillance and repression.
The Freedom of The Net Report 2013 by Freedom House referenced in our infographic studied surveillance, controlling trends and arrests due to online activity of 60 countries, finding that 34 countries have dropped in the internet freedom ratings. The three most restrictive countries continue to be China, Iran and Cuba. NSA surveillance has also decreased ratings in the West.
What You Can Do Right Now:
While the debate against warrantless spying on ordinary citizens, web censorship and data collection continues across the world, there are things that you can do right now to start protecting your privacy and internet freedoms:
Spread the Word: Let’s work to make sure people are more aware of our declining internet freedoms. Share our infographic with your friends and family.
Learn more about Internet freedom issues in your country: There’s a wealth of information on the OpenNet Initiative website.
Support The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance event on Feb. 11: Find out more about this worldwide day or protest in honor of the late Aaron Swartz and participate by raising awareness on social media, installing widgets on your personal blogs and websites and signing up for email updates on their website.
Urge your government representatives to be more accountable: Push for reforms of intrusive censorship and surveillance programs and sign petitions that ask for change.
Watch where your money goes: Don’t support businesses and corporations that are actively lobbying your government to compromise your privacy and internet freedom.
Only download and access trusted websites and apps: Take the time to read their user agreements.
Take back control of your online privacy with a VPN like Golden Frog’s VyprVPN: VPNs prevents your ISP and third parties from monitoring and controlling your online communications and browsing activity. VyprVPN is the only VPN provider that has Windows, Mac, Android and iOS apps to secure all your devices. Please read our the Vision Paper, “Peace, Prosperity and the Case for the Open Internet: A shared vision and call to action for the netizens of the world” to learn more about our fight for a free and open Internet.
The internet is a crucial medium through which people can express themselves and share ideas. It has also become an increasingly important tool to help democracy and human rights activists mobilize and advocate for political, social, and economic reform. We at Golden Frog believe that users should be free to make their own decisions about what they read and watch. Censoring the web only leads to a decline in creativity, innovation and awareness. We are joining an international movement to defend our internet freedoms, and we want to encourage our readers to do the same.