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

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

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

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


  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.