The countries with the worst internet freedom in the world

Carto/Louis Doré

The UK is the eighth most free country in the world on the internet.

This is according to the Freedom on the Net index by Freedom House, which surveyed 65 countries across the world.

Governments in 15 countries temporarily shut down access to the entire internet or mobile phone networks, sometimes solely to prevent users from disseminating information through social media.

Here's how Freedom House graded countries across the world:

Picture:Picture: Carto/Louis Doré

Estonia was joint with Iceland for the top ranking in the index, followed by Canada, the US and Germany.

Meanwhile, China was bottom of the index, followed by Iran and Syria.

Freedom on the internet declined around the world for the sixth consecutive year, and two thirds of internet users (67 per cent) live in countries where criticism of the government, military or ruling family are subject to censorship.

Picture:Picture: Freedom House

Freedom House labelled China the year's "worst abuser of internet freedom".

The Chinese government’s crackdown on free expression under President Xi Jinping’s “information security” policy is taking its toll on the digital activists who have traditionally fought back against censorship and surveillance. Dozens of prosecutions related to online expression have increased self-censorship, as have legal restrictions introduced in 2015. A criminal law amendment added seven-year prison terms for spreading rumors on social media (a charge often used against those who criticize the authorities), while some users belonging to minority religious groups were imprisoned simply for watching religious videos on their mobile phones.

More: These are the countries with the most and least press freedom in the world

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