With online access becoming ever more important, there are concerns over how access can be restricted by censorship and surveillance.

Freedom House, a US-based non-government organisation, in its Freedom on the Net Report 2015, ranks online freedom in 65 countries. Out of the assessed 88% of the total Internet population globally, 31% had freedom online while 34.3% had restricted Internet freedom and 22.7% had partial freedom.

Among the BRICS countries, India and Brazil improved their Internet freedom scores in 2015 from 2014 while Russia, China and South Africa scored lower. The data took into account Internet censorship and shutdowns, content blocking and network shutdowns, surveillance and directives that curtail freedom online.

Source: Freedom House; Data compilation by Digital Empowerment Foundation

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