Not all countries count themselves as equals when it comes to Internet freedom.
Some champion a free and open Internet. Others impose strict censorship systems that block access to the web and punish citizens for what they post.
A free Internet, unshackled by government regulations, is necessary for a free people – and a free-enterprise economy — to flourish.
A free Internet is where ideas, political or business, are traded and blossom.
Constrain the Internet, and the game changes for the worse.
(See my related story on Net Neutrality: Why It’s Wrong and Dangerous).
A look at the best and worst examples show which country’s economy flourishes because of Internet freedom … and which ones don’t.
Here’s an example of countries around the world that offer the least and most freedom to Internet users. It’s based on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the best and 100 being the worst:
- Iceland (6)
- Estonia (6)
- Canada (16)
- United States (18)
- Germany (19)
- Australia (21)
- Japan (22)
- UK (23)
- South Africa (25)
- Italy (25)
- China (88)
- Iran (87)
- Syria (87)
- Ethiopia (83)
- Cuba (79)
- Uzbekistan (79)
- Vietnam (76)
- Saudi Arabia (72)
- Bahrain (71)
- Pakistan (69)
Regulations are a threat to the advancement of freedom.
In fact, a total of 67 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016, compared to 36 that showed gains.
It marked the 11th straight year in which declines outnumbered gains.
When it comes to civil liberties and political rights of the world’s population:
- 39% are free
- 25% are partly free
- 36% are not free
Of 195 countries surveyed on political rights and civil liberties:
- 45% are free
- 30% are partly free
- 25% are not free
The share of “free countries” has declined over the past decade, while the share of “not free countries” has risen.
We in America enjoy the blessings of a free enterprise system that does not need to be crippled by burdensome Internet regulations.
And that includes making sure Net Neutrality regulations are not reinstated.
Net Neutrality is a misleading label if there ever was one. There is nothing neutral about it. Under Obama, it was a just another scheme to have the federal government control the Internet through the FCC.
House Republicans in April rolled back the regulations. But there are those that want to reinstate these constricting rules.
We don’t need government-defined frameworks, we need free markets, where content and infrastructure discipline one another in the marketplace to benefit all.
What do you think? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org