Nigeria is one of the countries with the freest internet in the world, according to a new study by proxy racka data collection company, revealed.
Internet users in a record number of countries have been arrested and physically attacked for their posts in the past year, the report says, painting a grim picture of digital freedoms in 2022.
Posted on Friday, The report ranked Nigeria 10th on the index of countries with the most internet freedom in the world.
Compiled by Proxyrack researchers, the survey gives countries a score out of 100 for the level of internet freedom citizens enjoy, including the extent to which they face restrictions on the content they can access.
Other factors considered were the extent of the ban and restrictions on torrents, pornography, political media, social media, VPNs, and messaging and VoIp apps.
“The Internet has become a tool that many rely on to learn, connect and be entertained,” reads the preface to the report. “However, not all nations believe this amount of data should be fully accessible to the public.”
The researchers said internet freedom is rapidly becoming an increasingly important issue as governments around the world seek to limit the digital rights of their citizens, restrict access to or censor information, or even completely prevent reliable Internet access.
“Internet freedom is also on the decline around the world, with some activists taking advantage of residential proxies and VPNs to expose corrupt regimes and create a more just society,” the report said.
“We looked at the proportion of internet users in each country, the censorship laws that citizens are subject to, and the digital freedoms afforded to citizens in each country to find out.”
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The Nigerian government banned Twitter last year, citing the platform’s persistent use for activities that could undermine the existence of Nigerian businesses, a move campaigners have described as stifling the voices of citizens and undermining their rights to freedom of speech.
The UK takes the top spot as the country with the most internet freedom, with the lowest score, 0 out of 10. The country has the highest proportion of people online and tops the list for its internet freedom score. The UK also does not restrict social media sites, Proxyrack said.
Japan is in second place. The Asian country has one of the highest proportions of internet users and ranks very low for internet censorship. It also scores 77 out of 100 on the internet freedom score.
Germany came in third, ranking very well thanks to its internet freedom score of 77 and tied for second place for this factor. Germany also does not restrict user access and the country has one of the lowest censorship scores, according to the report.
Next comes the United States, followed by France; Italy; Brazil; The Philippines; Mexico and Nigeria.
At the other end of the spectrum, China has been named the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom, handing out heavy prison sentences for online dissent.
The country has the most internet restrictions, according to the report, adding, “China has banned its citizens from Western social media sites, giving it one of the lowest scores on the factor.”
“The country also heavily restricts its political internet media, giving the highest internet censorship score (11 out of 11).”
Iran is behind China as the country has banned Western social media sites and severely restricted citizens’ access to political media, Proxyrack said. The country also has very low net freedom with a score of 8.16 out of 10.
Egypt is the third worst country for internet restriction. The North African nation has a relatively low proportion of citizens who use the internet. It also ranks in the bottom five for internet freedoms, as the Egyptian government is known to jail journalists and human rights activists for their actions online.
Bangladesh is next on the index, followed by Vietnam; Thailand; India; Turkey; Russia; and Indonesia.
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