United States
  • Internet rights: strong free speech right in Constitution. Weaker privacy protections.
  • ISP safe harbor: DMCA "notice and takedown" for copyright claims. CDA Section 230 immunity for non-IP claims.
  • Net neutrality: new FCC rule requires net neutrality.
China
  • The Great Firewall of China blocks people's access to many websites, e.g., Facebook, Google.
  • Government engages in extensive censorship especially related to political organizing or protests.
  • Foreign social media apps are banned.  Users must use real names on social media. 
Australia
  • Internet rights: No bill of rights. Some censorship of content. Personal data protected.
  • ISP safe harbors: limited to Internet access providers, does not apply to other services.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Mexico
  • Internet rights: free speech, press, privacy in Constitution. Article 6 guarantees Internet access, though not implemented.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: law to protect net neutrality in 2014.
Canada
  • Internet rights: free speech, press in Constitution. Privacy law.  Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: for conduits, caching, hosting, search engines from copyright liability.  "Notice-and-notice" process.
  • Net neutrality: CRTC policy sets rules for Internet traffic management practices.
Brazil
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Internet bill of rights (Marco Civil da Internet) enacted.
  • ISP safe harbor: horizontal approach requires court order before takedown of infringing content.
  • Net neutrality: Marco Civil prohibits prohibits content-based discrimination of Internet traffic. 
  • Crowdsourced Internet bill of rights.
Russia
  • Russia has exercised tighter control online, including blocking websites. 
  • 2014 "Blogger law" requires bloggers with 3,000 daily users to register with government.
  • Websites collecting personal data of Russians must be stored in servers in Russia by 2016.
Chile
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law.
  • ISP safe harbor: 2014 law requires court review before takedown of content.
  • Net neutrality: law prohibits "arbitrarily distinguish[ing] content ... based on the source or ownership thereof.”
Argentina
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects Internet speech. Data privacy law. Policy for universal access. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none. ISPs have been subject to liability and injunctions. 
  • Net neutrality: Congress considering a proposal on net neutrality. 
Colombia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, personal data protected. 
  • ISP safe harbor: free trade agreement with U.S. yet to be implemented. 
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection; bill proposed in 2011.
Peru
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, personal data protected. 
  • ISP safe harbor: free trade agreement with U.S. yet to be implemented. 
  • Net neutrality: legal protection since 2012.
Venezuela
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, personal data right in Constitution. Government blocking of websites.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Ecuador
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, data privacy in Constitution. Data privacy bill in 2015.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: legal protection for net neutrality.
Bolivia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Paraguay
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, personal data protected. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Uruguay
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, personal data protected. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Guyana
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Suriname
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
French Guiana
  • Internet rights: follows French law, which protects speech, privacy, data privacy.
  • ISP safe harbor: follows French law, which protects conduits, caching, hosting.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Falkland Islands
Belize
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Costa Rica
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Access a fundamental right. Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: for conduits, caching, hosting, locator tools. Notice and takedown process.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection. 
El Salvador
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Guatemala
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Honduras
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, habeas data in Constitution. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Nicaragua
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Panama
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, data privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Austria
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: EU considering Telecoms Package. Parliament must vote.
Belgium
  • Net neutrality bill being considered
Bulgaria
Croatia
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Cyprus
Czech Republic
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Statute for personal data. Hate speech outlawed.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach protects ISP conduits, caching, hosting.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Denmark
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Estonia
Finland
  • Internet right: right of guaranteed access; free speech, privacy in Constitution. Statute for personal data. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
France
  • Internet rights: free speech, strong privacy protections; hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage, plus search engines.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection but some government officials support it in principle.
Germany
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Statute for personal data. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage. ISPs duties go beyond take down.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Hungary
Ireland
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Italy
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects free speech, privacy. Statutory protection for personal data.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach. AgCom agency has new takedown process, including fast track.
  • Net neutrality: no law yet. 
Latvia
Lithuania
Malta
United Kingdom
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in ECHR and Human Rights Act. Personal data protection. ISPs filter pornography, adult materials.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal safe harbors for conduits, caching, storage.  
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Netherlands
  • Internet rights: free speech, press, privacy in Constitution. Personal data protected. 
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: law protects net neutrality since 2011.
Poland
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Statute for personal data. Hate speech outlawed.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach protects ISP conduits, caching, hosting.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Portugal
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, data privacy.  Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Statute protects personal data.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduit, caching, hosting, plus search engines.
  • Net neutrality: no protection. New laws increase penalties for linking to infringing content.
Sweden
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Statute protects personal data.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduit, caching, and passive hosting.
  • Net neutrality: no protection.
Iceland
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy in Constitution. Statute protects personal data.
  • ISP safe harbor:
  • Net neutrality: no legal requirement.
Norway
  • Internet rights: free speech in Constitution. Statute protects personal data.
  • ISP safe harbor: Obligated to apply EU horizontal approach for conduit, caching, and passive hosting.
  • Net neutrality: voluntary industry guidelines have been adopted.
Albania
Belarus
Bosnia
Macedonia
Philippines
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects free speech, privacy. Data privacy protected.  
  • ISP safe harbors: Section 30 of the Electronic Commerce Act provides safe harbor.
  • Net neutrality: not protected. 
Moldova
Serbia
Switzerland
Turkey
  • In 2014, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered blocking of Twitter and YouTube in Turkey.
  • Journalists and people critical of government frequently arrested. 
  • 2014 law gives government power to block sites without court order; requires retention of user records for 2 years. 
Ukraine
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.  Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: broad immunity without notice and takedown requirement.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Egypt
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Japan
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects free speech.  Data privacy protected by statute. 
  • ISP safe harbor: horizontal safe harbor for ISPs from copyright, defamation, and other liability; notice-and-takedown approach.  
  • Net neutrality: recognized by industry guidelines, subject to exceptions.
Algeria
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Angola
Botswana
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Congo
Greenland
Djibouti
Egypt
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Equatorial Guinea
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in interim Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius
Morocco
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, and data privacy, but speech sometimes restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: based on removal of the allegedly infringing material.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.  Data privacy bill. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Nigeria
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Reunion
Rwanda
South Africa
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects free speech, free press, privacy, human dignity. Personal data protection law.
  • ISP safe harbor: for conduit, caching, hosting, locator tools. Notice-and-takedown.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Cote d'Ivoire
Sudan
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Swaziland
Tanzania
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some monitoring of websites. Personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Burkina Faso
Saudi Arabia
  • Internet rights: Censorship of content, blocking of websites. Lack of privacy protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Israel
Iraq
Iran
  • Iran blacklists thousands of disapproved websites and blocked more than 5 million sites.
  • Extensive government surveillance of Internet content.
  • Bloggers can be jailed for posting disapproved content. 
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon
Oman
Oman
Qatar
Syria
Syria
United Arab Emirates
Yemen
Afghanistan
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei Darussalam
Cambodia
Indonesia
  • Internet rights: Censorship of pornography, defamation, blasphemy. Some personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: not protected. 
India
  • Government engages in selective blocking of websites and accounts on social media.
  • The government's Central Monitoring System (CMS) surveils phone calls, emails, Internet content. 
  • Net neutrality: Department of Telecommunications report favors net neutrality. 
India
Kazakhstan
  • Internet rights: Censorship of content, blocking of websites. Lack of privacy protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
North Korea
North Korea
South Korea
  • Internet rights: Free speech right subject to exception. Government censors political criticisms, defamation, pornography. Personal data protected. 
  • ISP safe harbor: OSP safe harbors are more limited than US DMCA  
  • Net neutrality: KCC Guidelines allow reasonable traffic discrimination
Kyrgyz Republic
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Malaysia
  • Internet rights: free speech in Constitution, but censorship in practice. Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: no safe harbor, although scope of secondary liability for ISPs unclear.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Maldives
Mongolia
  • Internet rights: privacy, free speech but broad defamation law and ban on 774 phrases.
  • ISP safe harbors: limited; Article 25 of Copyright Act imposes substantial duties on ISPs.
  • Net neutrality: TBD.
Myanmar
Nepal
Pakistan
  • Pakistan has increased censorship and restrictions on access to the web for religious, political, and other reasons.
  • Government engages in blocking of websites.  YouTube has been blocked since 2012. 
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor Leste
Timor Leste
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Data privacy. Website blocking.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Cuba
  • Cuba restricts Internet access and requires people to apply for a permit to get full "international" access to the Internet, Decree Law 209 (1996).
  • Most Cubans do not qualify for full Internet access.  Only 5% of the population had Internet access in 2012. 
  • Cuba blocks websites, especially ones critical of the government, and deploys propaganda on social media.
Dominica
Dominican Republic
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Grenada
Haiti
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Fiji
Fiji
French Polynesia
French Polynesia
New Caledonia
New Zealand
  • Internet rights: protection for free speech, privacy, and personal data.
  • ISP safe harbors: for access, caching, and hosting. 
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Solomon Islands
Vanuatu
Angola
Benin
Benin
Madagascar
Papua New Guinea
Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Comoros
Georgia
Greece
Singapore
Montenegro
Hong Kong
Luxembourg
Latvia
Montenegro
Hong Kong
Singapore
Luxembourg
Luxembourg

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Latest News

02/13/2016
Mark Zuckerberg's "Free Basics" platform under Internet.org suffered a huge defeat in India.   The platform provides free Internet connection to under-served areas with little or no Internet connection, but the access to the Internet is limited to certain "basic" ad-free apps, including Facebook. On February 8, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued "Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations”—which bans differential pricing arrangements for internet access, including the practice is known as "zero rating" by which usage of certain preferred apps does not count toward paid data usage. TRAI explained: "In India, given that a majority of the population are yet to be connected to the internet, allowing service providers to define the nature of access would be equivalent of letting TSPs shape the users' internet experience. This can prove to be risky in the medium to long term as the knowledge and outlook of those users would be shaped only by the information made availablethrough those select offerings. Further, to the extent that affordability of access is noted to be a cause for exclusion, it is not clear as to how the same users will be in a position to migrate to the open internet if they do not have the resources to do so in the first place."
01/04/2016
Ahead of a key decision by India's telecommunications regulatory body, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a blog post in the Times of India to defend his nonprofit Internet.org, which provides free (but limited) Internet access to under-served areas.  The service is called "Free Basics," which enables users to access the Internet but only for a limited number of apps, such as weather, Wikipedia, and, yes, Facebook. Other app developers can apply to Internet.org to be included in Free Basics.   
01/03/2016
On Jan. 1, 2016, Russia's new "right to be forgotten" (RTBF) law went into effect.  The law is similar to the EU right to be forgotten, which requires search engines to remove links to web postings from searches of a person's name if the postings are old, false, or no longer relevant.  Russia's law, however, does not allow removals of criminal convictions even if the terms of prison or punishment have been served. By contrast, the EU allows removals of links based on criminal convictions if, e.g., the country recognizes the expungement of the criminal record upon completion of the punishment.  Russia's law is also different from the EU law in that Russia's law specifically sets a time period of 3 to 10 days for the search engine to respond to a RTBF request made by a person.
09/08/2015
Google is reportedly in negotiation with the Chinese authorities to re-enter the Chinese market after Google's withdrawal 5 years ago due to China's censorship of content, including Google search results. Google hopes to launch an app store for Android-based smartphones and tablets. The news comes as China's government continues to crackdown on the use of VPN services, which enable people in China to attempt to evade the Great Firewall of China, which blocks people's access to censored sites. VPN services were disabled or experience outages in China at the end of August.  
08/03/2015
India's Department of Telecommunications reportedly issued a secret order on July 31, 2015 that orders ISPs in India to disable access to 857 websites.  Pursuant to Section 7913(b) of the Information Technology Act, the government has the authority to censor content for "morality" and "decency."  Some of the 857 websites reportedly include pornography, but other sites include College Humor and other non-pornographic sites.  India has a history of censoring the Internet.  [More from IBN live

About

The Free Internet Project is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide the public with information about the latest legal and technological efforts to protect Internet freedoms around the world.

Founded in 2014, TFIP provides a user-friendly resource for the public to follow and comment on the latest bills, decisions, constitutional amendments, and technologies to protect the “free and open Internet." The Project is based on the belief that the Internet is an amazing tool for sharing knowledge, and that people around the world can learn from and share in the efforts to protect Internet freedoms in other countries.

If you have a tip or would like to contact us, write us:  thefreeinternetproject[at]gmail.com

 

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