While several prominent personalities in India, including the President and RBI governor, are warning about growing intolerance and threat to freedom of expression in the country, the latest report on internet freedom has pointed out that online freedom has improved in India.
Globally the internet censorship and illegal surveillance is rapidly increasing, said the report published by Freedom House, a watchdog organization working for freedom and democracy. Last year India was given 42 points on the index which denotes barriers to web freedom. The latest report gives 40 points to the country, a sharp decrease in barriers to freedom by two points. The report named ‘Freedom on the Net 2015’ warned the world about the constant reduction of internet freedom as it dropped for the fifth year in a row.
The report noted, ““The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) swept to electoral victory in 2014 under its leadership candidate Narendra Modi, and the new government completed its first year in May 2015. In the reporting period, India maintained its position as the third-largest Internet consumer base after the United States and China, and saw positive developments in terms of the regulatory framework, declining detentions for online speech, and burgeoning digital access.”
The United Kingdom, the United States and India, the world’s most well-known democratic countries are at the top of internet surveillance and illegal snooping on its own citizens. The organization has maintained that the internet in India is partly free and online freedom is constantly under threat due to a large number of website blocking requests and intimidation of internet users. The scrapping of infamous section 66A from the IT act by the Supreme Court may have helped