US-based human rights organization Freedom House on Tuesday released its annual Internet freedom ranking report. For the seventh year in a row, Communist China has been listed among more than 70 countries as the worst abuser of Internet freedom. Taiwan is included in the list for the first time, ranking among the top five countries with the highest levels of online freedom.
Freedom House’s assessment includes three indicators: barriers to access, limits on content, and infringement of user rights.
The report called for the ongoing digital authoritarianism of the Chinese regime, and named some high-profile cases over the past year, such as a new law that criminalizes expressions that refer to “heroes” and “martyrs” of the regime’s military. insults members; Sentencing rigorous imprisonment for online disagreement, including by an 18-year-old; Sentenced against real estate mogul Ren Zhiqiang, who criticized the ruling Communist Party of China (CCP) leader Xi Jinping.
The report mentions COVID-19 whistleblower Dr. Netizens’ censorship of the regime is also mentioned in Li Wenliang’s discussion.
The report said that in 2021, content related to the COVID-19 outbreak is still one of the most censored topics by the regime. Meanwhile, China’s government media, official social media accounts and other government-linked accounts are flooding cyberspace with false claims about the dangers of Western vaccines and the source of the CCP virus that causes COVID-19.
In addition, the report pointed out that ordinary Internet users in China face legal consequences in daily activities such as sharing news, talking about religion, or communicating with relatives and friends abroad. The regime’s internet regulators have implemented new rules to prohibit posting current affairs information on social media, leading to the cancellation of many accounts.
As noted in the report, scams of infringement of personal data and privacy of Internet users appear frequently in China. The Chinese regime imposed regulations on tech companies to limit their use of Internet users’ information.
One of the report’s authors, Eli Funk, a senior research analyst for technology and democracy affairs at Freedom House, said in an online press conference on Monday that China introduced the first comprehensive law on data privacy this year, restricting that companies There is a lack of supervision over how individuals use data but governance.
The report also said that China is the largest surveillance state in the world. “Under cyber security legislation that came into force in 2017, companies must store users’ data on local servers and decrypt the data upon request from authorities,” the report said.
However, the Chinese regime has severely reprimanded domestic technology giants such as Alibaba and Tencent “for lax data security and monopolistic practices”, while consolidating control over tech companies, placing more power in its hands by the communist regime. has, the report said.
Adrian Shahbaz, director of technology and democracy affairs at Freedom House, told VOA that the CCP is monitoring the transformation of large technology companies into state-owned enterprises. For example, the Chinese government has acquired the equity and board seats of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. He explained that this is because a state-owned entity is easier to control than a private entity, and that the CCP is interested in the privacy of users rather than its access to their data.
In contrast, Taiwan is included in the assessment by Freedom House for the first time, ranked 5th out of 70 countries, and tops the ranking in the Asia-Pacific region.
Funk cited the reason for Taiwan’s high ranking is that the government of Taiwan does not censor content on the Internet or block any websites.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times