A recent study on worldwide internet freedom has revealed that the trend of the past two years hasn’t reversed in 2013: internet freedom is deteriorating across the world, fueled substantially this year by the NSA revelations coming out of the United States, whose score has toppled substantially compared with 2012.

In order to identify the major trends of this continuing deterioration, the study in question (link) evaluated ten aspects regarding internet freedom in each of the countries studied. These ten aspects were:

  1. Blocking and filtering: governments blocking what they find undesirable,
  2. Cyberattacks against regime critics,
  3. New laws regarding online speech,
  4. Paid governmental interference in online presence,
  5. Physical attacks,
  6. Surveillance,
  7. Takedown requests,
  8. Blocking of social media platforms,
  9. Holding ISPs, hosting servies, webmasters, etc… liable,
  10. Interfering with internet and mobile services.

As such, the following major trends emerged:

  1. Increase in surveillance as countries upgrade their monitoring technology,
  2. Increase in censorship as countries pass new laws to limit the extent of free speech,
  3. Increase in arrests due to social media postings, including bloggers.

These trends aren’t only happening in authoritarian countries. Some countries have further restricted access to content they deemed harmful: porn, piracy, etc.

The study included 60 countries across the world and gave a freedom score for each country. The ratings for each country were obtained through three main categories:

  • Obstacles to access: infrastructure, governmental blocks, economic policies, etc.
  • Limit on content: through filtering, website blocking, service throttling, etc.
  • Violation of user rights: arrests, intimidation, surveillance, etc.

As such, countries can be classes in three different brackets. The countries deemed “free” obtained a score between 0 and 30. Those deemed partially free scored between 31 and 60. The countries categorized as not free had a score between 61 and 100. The world’s freest country is Iceland while Iran is the world’s least free country.

Lebanon’s score is 45.

Internet Freedom Middle East, North Africa

Lebanon’s grade was split in the following manner:


Lebanon Internet Freedom - Merged


The facets in which Lebanon lacked were the following:


Lebanon Internet Freedom - 1



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