Internet independence has “enhanced” in India in the past one year as a result of Supreme Court’s landmark opinion on the IT Act, a US-based independent watchdog has said, putting the world’s greatest democratic nation under “partially free” category.
In the 2014 report, India scored. More points means more constraints on Internet freedom.
Since June 2014, 32 of the 65 nations evaluated on the Net in Liberty tool Internet liberty deteriorating. Remarkable declines were recorded in France, Libya and-for the 2nd year running through Ukraine, amid propaganda war and its territorial struggle with Russia.
Iceland is the most Internet nation that is free with six points. Freedom House credited the progress in Internet liberty in India to the March 2015 opinion on the IT Act, which it said supplied vital developments to the legal framework protecting Internet liberty of the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court’s opinion on the IT Act proved to be a long awaited victory for free speech activists in India,” said Sanja Kelly, project manager for Freedom on the Net.
At exactly the same time, network shutdowns in the name of protection as well as too little transparency about blocking and surveil are limits on Internet independence that kept the nation’s evaluation “partially free”, the report said.
“Shutdowns and muddy info regarding authorities’ obstructing and surveillance practices offend exactly the same essential Internet liberty principles,” Earp said.
In its report, Freedom said India found positive developments when it comes to the regulatory framework, falling detentions for internet language, and burgeoning digital accessibility, and kept its standing as the third biggest Internet consumer base following the United States and China.
“Nevertheless, increased web site blocking and bullying of Internet users threatened to hamper India’s steadily enhancing Internet liberty,” the report said.
Freedom nevertheless rued, that Indian law remains insufficient for the efficient protection of privacy. Reports suggest the law enforcement agencies are trying to be exempted from the law, leaving its range and effectiveness under question although a secrecy bill is being drafted.
“There were no reported cases of unlawful surveillance in the present reporting period, although this might be because of the extreme opacity of the regulatory framework regulating surveillance,” it said.
News reports suggest the government is continuing to develop the Central Monitoring System, its ambitious national mass surveillance system directed at tracking people’ digital communications, it included.