Turkey Ranked Among ‘Worst Countries’ for Internet Freedoms by Freedom House


Human rights watchdog’s latest report says Turkey has become one of the worst countries in the world for internet freedom – also raising concerns about Serbia and Hungary.

“Freedom on the Net 2023: The Repressive Power of Artificial Intelligence”, a new report published by human rights watchdog Freedom House, says global internet freedoms declined for the 13th consecutive year – and that Turkey has become one of the worst countries in the world in terms of internet freedoms.

The report underlined that attacks on free expression grew more common around the world while Artificial Intelligence, AI, has allowed governments to enhance and refine online censorship.

“While an improvement in internet freedom was observed in 20 countries around the world this year, a decline was detected in 29 countries, including Turkey. Unfortunately, there is a contraction in internet freedoms around the world as a result of authoritarian pressure,” Gurkan Ozturan, Media Freedom Rapid Response Coordinator at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, one of the authors of the Freedom House report, told BIRN.

Freedom House listed Turkey as “not free” in its internet freedoms index, scoring only 30 points in total out of 100 points.

Ozturan added that Turkey has seen one of the most rapid declines in internet freedoms.

“With a 15-point decline in total since 2014, Turkey stands in third worst place, with Venezuela and Uganda, in hardest declining countries after Myanmar, with 30 points and Russia with 19 points,” Ozturan said.

Ozturan said that key developments in Turkey in 2023 included restrictions and censorship, especially in the aftermath of bombings and earthquakes; disinformation campaigns during the election period, the passing of a Disinformation Law, and revelations of mass surveillance by government bodies.

As the report’s title suggest, AI has become a major concern in internet freedoms, as the government uses it at the expense of internet freedoms.

“We see that Artificial Intelligence technology, which created excitement around the world last year, is used by many governments for mass surveillance and censorship purposes. If no regulation is made in the coming period, it would be surprising if these practices do not lead to an even more oppressive internet management and social life,” Ozturan warned.

Source : Balkaninsight