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Global internet freedom declines in shadow of pandemic, according to new report

"Governments around the world have used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to expand online surveillance and data collection, censor critical speech, and build new technological systems of social control, according to Freedom on the Net 2020the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of internet freedom, released today by Freedom House...

Political leaders are also using the pandemic as a pretext to censor unfavorable news, arrest critics, and scapegoat ethnic and religious groups. In at least 45 countries, activists, journalists, and other members of the public were arrested or charged with criminal offenses for online speech related to the pandemic. Governments in at least 28 countries censored websites and social media posts to suppress unfavorable health statistics, corruption allegations, and other COVID-19-related content."

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