Internet freedom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Internet freedom is an umbrella term that encompasses digital rights, freedom of information, the right to Internet access, freedom from Internet censorship, and net neutrality.[1][2][3]

As a human right[edit]

Those who support internet freedom as a human right include the United Nations Human Rights Council, who declared internet freedom a Human Right in 2012.[4][5] Eric Sterner agrees with the end goals of internet freedom but thinks that focusing on democracy and other freedoms is the best strategy.[6]

Relatively free internets[edit]

J. Goldsmith notes the discrepancies in fundamental rights around free speech that exist between Europe and the United States, for example, and how that impacts internet freedom.[7] In addition, the proliferation in certain kinds of speech that spreads false information and weakens trust in the accuracy of content online remains a topic of concern around internet freedom in all countries.

Relatively unfree internets[edit]

Some countries work to ban certain sites and or words that limit internet freedom.[8] The People's Republic of China (PRC) has the world's largest number of Internet users and one of the most sophisticated and aggressive Internet censorship and control regimes in the world.[9] In 2020 Freedom House ranked China last of 64 nations in internet freedom.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Altman, Alex (2008-02-20). "A Coming Chill Over Internet Freedom?". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Archived from the original on 2021-12-07. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  2. ^ Nicks, Denver (March 19, 2014). "Russia's Youth Want Internet Freedom, Widening 'Censorship Gap'". Time. Archived from the original on 2021-12-07. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  3. ^ Paul, Kari (2021-09-22). "Internet freedom on the decline in US and globally, study finds". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-07-14.
  4. ^ Carr, Madeline (November 2013). "Internet freedom, human rights and power". Australian Journal of International Affairs. 67 (5): 621–637. doi:10.1080/10357718.2013.817525. ISSN 1035-7718. S2CID 153790388.
  5. ^ "Opinion: The Internet As a Human Right". Time. May 28, 2014. Archived from the original on 2022-01-21. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  6. ^ Sterner, Eric R. (2011). "The Folly of Internet Freedom: The Mistake of Talking About the Internet as a Human Right". The New Atlantis (32): 134–139. ISSN 1543-1215. JSTOR 43152664.
  7. ^ Goldsmith, J. (2018). The failure of internet freedom. Knight First Amendment Institute. Columbia University. Archived 2022-01-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 12/3/19.
  8. ^ "Promoting Global Internet Freedom: Policy and Technology" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-04-19. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  9. ^ Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. (2010). U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom. Issues, Policy, and Technology. S.l]: [s.n.]. Archived 2019-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 12/3/19.
  10. ^ Cook, Sarah. "5 Predictions for Beijing's Assault on Internet Freedom in 2021". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 7 December 2021. Retrieved 14 December 2020.