The Net is becoming less free and more unequal, according to a new report.
The World Wide Web Foundation found in their annual web index that users around the globe are more likely to be spied upon by governments, with 84% of countries either having no laws to prevent mass snooping, or just very weak ones.
The report also found that censorship could be on the rise.
The World Wide Web Foundation measured the internet’s contribution to the social, political and economic progress of 86 countries, and they made several striking observations.
74% of the countries with internet lack clear, effective, net neutrality laws that keep the internet a fair marketplace.
In 62% of the countries, the internet plays a significant role in sparking both social and political action.
74% of countries are not acting to prevent online harassment of women.
The Foundation campaigns for free, uncensored access to the internet to be a human right.
The chief executive of the World Wide Web Foundation, and lead author of the report, Anne Jellema said, “The richer and better educated people are the more benefit they are gaining from the digital revolution.”
She added, “Extreme disparities between rich and poor have been rightly identified as the defining challenge of our age, and we need to use technology to fight inequality, not increase it.”