Gauging and classifying freedom online - in Germany and throughout the world
The freedom of the internet is measured every year by the American non-profit organization Freedom House. The report is regularly covered in the press and media. We have been involved in this project for many years, specifically with evaluating the situation in Germany.
The rights that we enjoy offline must also be protected online. Freedom of opinion and the press, the right to privacy, freedom of assembly and association — these human rights are protected by international treaties — on-and offline — and form the basis of our free and democratic order. Ideally, the internet offers the unique opportunity to exercise these rights in a globally networked space. But many states use digital technologies to restrict rights, for example by establishing systems of mass surveillance, censoring content online or restricting access to the internet.
In order to record the development of freedom on the internet, it must be measured by means of some objective scale. This includes continuously observing the most important decisions, events and developments in Germany. We classify these on the basis of a comprehensive, comparative, qualitative and globally uniform set of indicators and evaluate them in terms of their impact on freedom online.
The Washington-based NGO Freedom House has been publishing annual country-specific reports since 2009, which deal with the level of use and freedom of the internet in most states of the world. iRights.Lab is a long-standing partner in this endeavor, producing reports for Germany. In our 2018 report, we concluded that Germany improved by one percentage point relative to the previous year and scored a total of 19 points (0 = unrestricted freedom, 100 = not free).
More on this topic can be found at
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