United States
  • Internet rights: free speech and press. Weak privacy protection.
  • ISP safe harbor: DMCA safe harbors for copyright claims. Section 230 immunity for defamation and non-IP claims, but Trump Executive Order attempts to limit.
  • Net neutrality: None. FCC repealed protection for net neutrality in 2018.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Belgium
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
Bulgaria
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
Croatia
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Cyprus
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.  Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage, plus search engines.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Denmark
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Estonia
  • 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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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 :2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Hungary
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
Ireland
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Latvia
  • 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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Lithuania
  • 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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Malta
  • 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.
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. 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Portugal
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, data privacy.  Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Romania
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
Slovakia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
Slovenia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech in Constitution, but media self censors. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: for access, caching, passive storage, and information locator tools.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection
Belarus
  • Internet rights: Constitution recognizes free speech, privacy but restrictions of speech in practice  Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Bosnia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some impairment. Personal data law.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: none.  
Macedonia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.  Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Philippines
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects free speech, privacy. Data privacy protected. Cybercrime law curtails rights.
  • ISP safe harbors: Section 30 of the Electronic Commerce Act provides safe harbor.
  • Net neutrality: not protected. 
Moldova
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.  Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Serbia
  • Internet rights: free speech in Constitution, but media self censors. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: for access, caching, passive storage, and information locator tools.
  • Net neutrality: No legal protection
Switzerland
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Statute protects personal data.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no protection, but voluntary industry code.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.  Data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Botswana
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.  Data privacy bill. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Burundi
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy in Constitution. Speech restricted. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Cameroon
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.  No data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Cape Verde
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy, and data privacy in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Central African Republic
  • Internet rights: new Constitution passed in Dec. 2015. Free speech and privacy protected.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Chad
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.  Data privacy bill. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Congo
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Greenland

<ul>
<li>Internet rights: free speech, data&nbsp;privacy protections.&nbsp;Hate speech proscribed.</li>
<li>ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.</li>
<li>Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.</li>
</ul>
 

Djibouti
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Speech restricted. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Egypt
Eritrea
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Censorship. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Ethiopia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Gabon
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Equatorial Guinea
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy in Constitution. Government censorship and restriction of Internet. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Gambia
  • Internet rights: free speech, press, privacy in Constitution, but restrictions in practice. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Ghana
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Guinea
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Guinea Bissau
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Kenya
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.  Data privacy bill. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Lesotho
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy in Constitution. Speech restricted. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Liberia
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Libya
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in interim Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Madagascar
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some monitoring of websites. Personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Malawi
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.  Data privacy bill. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Mali
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some self-censorship.  Data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Mauritania
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Mauritius
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy in Constitution. Some restrictions. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions of speech.  No data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Namibia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. No data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Overseas territory of France following French law
Rwanda
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Speech restricted and website blocking. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Senegal
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Seychelles
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data protection not yet in effect.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Sierra Leone
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy in Constitution. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Somalia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restrictions of speech in practice.  No data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Cote d'Ivoire
  • Internet rights: free speech in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Sudan
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Swaziland
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Speech restricted. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Tunisia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Uganda
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Speech restricted. No data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Zambia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions and monitoring. No data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Zimbabwe
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions of speech and online monitoring.  No data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Burkina Faso
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some self-censorship.  Data privacy law. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, but restrictions imposed by government.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: legal protection.
Iraq
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restrictions of speech for morality. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy recognized but restricted in practice.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Kuwait

<ul>
<li>Internet rights: free&nbsp;speech in Constitution, but restricted in practice. No right of privacy.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li>
<li>ISP safe harbor: none.</li>
<li>Net neutrality: no legal protection.</li>
</ul>
 

Lebanon
  • Internet rights: free speech in Constitution, but restricted in practice. No privacy right.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon
Oman
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy recognzied, but censorship, website blocking, and Internet monitoring in practice. 
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Oman
Qatar
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but restricted in practice.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Syria
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, but restrictions and website blocking.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Syria
United Arab Emirates
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy rights restricted by government.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Yemen
  • Internet rights: Censorship of content. Lack of privacy protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Afghanistan
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, but restrictions to stifle criticism of government.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Armenia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy and data privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
  • Internet rights: privacy, free speech but some restrictions and censorship.
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Bhutan
Brunei Darussalam
Cambodia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. But government censorship and monitoring.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Internet rights: speech right, no general privacy right, and limited personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection. 
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
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: privacy, free speech but broad defamation law used to stifle speech.
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Nepal
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, but no personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: draft guidelines in 2018.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech, but no privacy.  Temporary Internet blocking in state of emergency in 2018. 
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
  • Internet rights: Constitution protects free speech, privacy of correspondence, personal data privacy.
  • ISP safe harbors: for access, caching, passive storage, and locator tools.
  • Net neutrality: not protected. 
Taiwan
Tajikistan
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, but restrictions in practice.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Thailand
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. But government censorship, monitoring, website blocking. 
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Timor Leste
  • Internet rights: privacy and free speech.  No personal data protection. 
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Timor Leste
Turkmenistan
  • Internet rights: speech and privacy rights, but restrictions and website blocking.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Uzbekistan
  • Internet rights: Censorship of content, blocking of websites. Lack of privacy protection.
  • ISP safe harbors: no legal protection.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
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
  • Internet rights: free speech and press in Constitution. Data privacy law.  
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Benin
Madagascar
Papua New Guinea
  • Internet rights: free speech and privacy rights, but concerns with Cybercrime Code.
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: not protected. 
Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution, but some restrictions.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Comoros
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data protection.
  • ISP safe harbor: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Georgia
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution.  Data privacy law.
  • ISP safe harbor: None.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.
Greece
  • Internet rights: free speech, data privacy protections, Internet access. Hate speech proscribed.
  • ISP safe harbors: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.
Singapore
  • Internet rights: free speech but not privacy right. Personal data protection. Speech and privacy restrictions.
  • ISP safe harbors: 4 safe harbors similar to U.S. DMCA safe harbors.
  • Net neutrality: law requires.
Montenegro
Hong Kong
Luxembourg
  • Internet rights: free speech, privacy in Constitution. Personal data law. Hate speech banned.
  • ISP safe harbor: EU horizontal approach for conduits, caching, storage of content.
  • Net neutrality: 2015 EU Regulation bans discrimination or throttling of online traffic.  
Latvia
Montenegro
Hong Kong
Singapore
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Cambodia
  • Internet rights: privacy, free speech but speech critical of government is restricted.
  • ISP safe harbors: none.
  • Net neutrality: no legal protection.

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Latest News

09/01/2020

On August 19, 2020, Facebook announced a change to its community standards in moderating content on Facebook for safety reasons. Facebook's community standards already require the removal of content that calls for and advocates violence and the removal of individuals and groups promoting violence. Facebook now will restrict content that doesn't necessarily advocate violence, but is "tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, US-based militia organizations and QAnon." Facebook explained, "we have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior." U.S. based militia organizations and far-right conspiracy, QAnon, have begun to grow on the social site. As we reported, earlier in July 2020, Twitter suspended 7,000 users who supported Qnon conspiracy theories. Facebook followed suit by removing 790 QAnon groups on Facebook (including one group that had 200,000 members) and 10,000 Instagram accounts in August 2020.

Facebook listed seven actions they planned to take against movements and organizations tied to violence:

  1. Remove From Facebook: Facebook Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts that are a part of harmful movements and organizations will be removed from the platform when they discuss potential violence. To help identify when violence is taking place, Facebook plans to study the technology and symbolism these groups use.
  2. Limit Recommendations: Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts associated with harmful organizations that are not removed will not be recommended to people as Pages, Groups, or accounts they might want to follow.
  3. Reduce Ranking in News Feed: Looking forward to the future, content from these Pages and Groups will be ranked lower in the news feeds. This will lessen the amount of people who see these pages on their news feed on Facebook.
  4. Reduce in Search: Hashtags and titles for related content will be ranked lower in search suggestions and will not be suggested in the Search Typehead.
  5. Reviewing Related Hashtags on Instagram: On Instagram specifically the Related Hashtag feature has been removed. This feature allowed people to view hashtags that were similar to those they use. Facebook is clear that this feature could potentially return in the future once they have introduced better safety measures to protect people when utilizing the feature.
  6. Prohibit Use of Ads, Commerce Surfaces and Monetization Tools: Facebook starting softly has planned a two-step action, against the prohibition of Ads and the use of the Marketplace to in relation to these movements. Currently they have stopped Facebook Pages related to these movements from running Ads or selling products through the Marketplace and Shop. In the future, Facebook plans to take stronger action stopping Ads praising or supporting these movements from being run by anyone.
  7. Prohibit Fundraising: Finally fundraising associated with these groups will be prohibited. Nonprofits who identify with these groups will be disallowed from using the Facebook fundraising tools.

With the new policy, Facebook expands its existing policy against violence to include the removal of groups and individuals that impose a risk to public safety. The threshold previously, according to Facebook, would not have allowed these groups to be removed because they did not meet the rigorous criteria to be deemed dangerous to the platform. Facebook is not banning QAnon content from the site in its entirety, Facebook is restricting the ability of the individuals who follow these groups to organize on the platform. QAnon believers can still post these conspiracies on the platform in an individualized manner.

With the expansion of its policy, Facebook takes an important step in stopping the spread of harmful information on its platform. As a result of the expanded policy, Facebook has already been able to take down hundreds of groups and ads tied to QAnon and militia organizations and thousands tied to these movements on Instagram. Whether these changes are effective enough to keep Facebook from being used as a tool to organize violence remains to be seen, however.

--written by Bisola Oni

08/24/2020

Earlier in August 2020, the Federal Communications Commission opened a public comment period for people to express their views on "Petition for Rulemaking recently filed by the Department of Commerce regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996." The inquiry was prompted by Donald Trump's Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, issued on May 28, 2020. Trump has accused social media sites of suppressing conservative speech after Twitter flagged some of his tweets for violating their community standards. In the Executive Order, Trump takes the view that Internet companies that "engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints" should lose immunity under Section 230 of the CDA. That provision states in part: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." (47 U.S.C. § 230). For more about how Section 230 operates, read our prior explanation. This legislation from a time when internet communications were in their infancy has been a vital protection invoked by social media sites that enable their users to exchange information. In the Executive Order, Trump called upon "the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in consultation with the Attorney General, and acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), [to] file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the FCC expeditiously propose regulations to clarify" Section 230. The NTIA did so, largely along the lines suggested by the Executive Order. 

Now, the FCC has opened up public comments on the NTIA petition. As of Aug. 24, 2020, the FCC has received 619 comments.  The FCC's involvement has already drawn controversy. In a speech in May, Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O'Reilly expressed "deep reservations" about whether the FCC had any authority to issue regulations on Section 230. On August 4, the White House announced it was withdrawing O'Reilly's nomination for another term on the FCC, meaning his tenure will end before the new Congress starts next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Whether or not the FCC has legal authority to issue regulations related to Section 230 (which it hasn't done so far) is likely to be contested. It its petition, the NTIA argues: 

Section 201(b) of the Communications Act (Act) empowers the Commission to “prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary in the public interest to carry out this chapter.” Under this authority, the FCC should promulgate rules to resolve ambiguities in Section 230. The Supreme Court has confirmed that “the grant in section 201(b) means what it says: The FCC has rulemaking authority to carry out the ‘provisions of this Act.’” Section 230, in turn, was incorporated into the Act – in the same portion of the Act, Title II, as section 201(b) – by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Act). The fact that section 230 was enacted after section 201(b) is of no consequence; the Supreme Court repeatedly has held that the Commission’s section 201(b) rulemaking power extends to all subsequently enacted provisions of the Act, specifically identifying those added by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Thus, the Commission has authority under section 201(b) to initiate a rulemaking to implement section 230. That broad rulemaking authority includes the power to clarify the language of that provision, as requested in the petition.

 

 

08/23/2020

 

On Aug. 14, 2020, Newley Purnell and Jeff Horwitz of the Wall Street Journal reported of possible political favoritism shown by Facebook in its content moderation of posts on Facebook by ruling party Hindu nationalist politicians in India. These allegations of political bias come as Facebook faces similar claims of political bias for and against Donald Trump and conservatives in the United States.  The Wall Street Journal article relies on "current and former Facebook employees familiar with the matter." According to the article, in its content moderation, Facebook flagged posts by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician, T. Raja Singh, and other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups for “promoting violence”--which should have resulted in the suspension of his Facebook account. But Facebook executives allegedly intervened in the content moderation. Facebook's "top public-policy executive in the country, Ankhi Das, opposed applying the hate-speech rules to Mr. Singh and at least three other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence, said the current and former employees." Ankhi Das is a top Facebook official in India and lobbies India’s government on Facebook’s behalf. Das reportedly explained her reasoning to Facebook staff that "punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country, Facebook’s biggest global market by number of users."

According to the Wall Street Journal article, Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, "acknowledged that Ms. Das had raised concerns about the political fallout that would result from designating Mr. Singh a dangerous individual, but said her opposition wasn’t the sole factor in the company’s decision to let Mr. Singh remain on the platform." Facebook said it has not yet decided whether it will ban the BJP politician from the social media platform.

The WSJ article gives examples of alleged political favoritism to the BJP party. Facebook reportedly announced its action to remove inauthentic pages to Pakistan’s military and the Congress party, which is BJP’s rival. However, Facebook made no such announcement when it removed BJP’s inauthentic pages because Das interceded. Facebook's safety staff determined that Singh's posts warranted a permanent ban from Facebook, but Facebook only deleted some of Singh's posts and stripped his account of verified status.  In addition, Facebook's Das praised Modi in an essay in 2017 and she shared on her Facebook page "a post from a former police official, who said he is Muslim, in which he called India’s Muslims traditionally a 'degenerate community' for whom 'Nothing except purity of religion and implementation of Shariah matter.'"

On August 16, 2020, Facebook's Das filed a criminal complaint against journalist Awesh Tiwari for a post he made on his Facebook page about the WSJ article. Das alleges a comment someone posted to Tiwari's page constituted a threat against her. 

--written by Alfa Alemayehu

08/16/2020

Executive Order Regarding the Acquisition of Musical.ly by Bytedance Ltd., Aug. 14, 2020

On Aug. 14, 2020, Donald Trump issued a second Executive Order directed at Chinese media company ByteDance.  The second Executive Order requires ByteDance to divest its ownership of TikTok, the popular social media platform involving short videos, within 90 days.  Trump's reason: "There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance Ltd., an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands ("ByteDance"), through acquiring all interests in musical.ly, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands ("Musical.ly"), might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States."

Earlier, President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced their desire to ban “untrusted” Chinese tech apps such as, TikTok in an effort to lower national security risks. Pompeo stated that Trump would take action against Chinese software companies that dispersed user data with the Chinese government. Several days later, Microsoft confirmed that it sought out the Chinese technology company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, to acquire parts of TikTok in the U.S. Microsoft ensured that it would work with the U.S. government regarding the deal of acquiring TikTok. Microsoft agreed to provide “proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.” (Read Microsoft's Aug. 2, 2020 statement.) Avery Gardiner, general counsel and senior fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, points out how deals with conditions set a dangerous precedent for future mergers. CNN suggests that Trump’s demand that the U.S. government receive a “substantial amount of money” from any TikTok deal will set a dangerous example for years to come. More particularly, President Trump hopes to receive a “very large percentage” in any deal made regarding this matter. Concerns arise about what that percentage might look like considering TikTok is estimated to be worth $50 billion. Ultimately, President Trump ordered the deal to be set by September 15, otherwise the app would be banned in the U.S.

China made it clear that TikTok will remain with the Chinese technology company, ByteDance – not the United States.  China appears to be contemplating various responses if the Trump Administration decided to “smash and grab” TikTok.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) grants the U.S. government the power to force foreign firms to sell their business to an American company.  CFIUS did so with Grindr, a gay dating app. The Chinese owners of Grindr were compelled to sell over the app due to national security concerns. Additionally, CFIUS is already investigating ByteDance, the Chinese tech firm that owns TikTok, over a 2016 acquisition of the app Musical.ly.  You can learn more about CFIUS's powers in this review by a US law firm Cooley.

Mike Jones, co-founder and managing partner at Science Inc., told CNN: “The recent events around TikTok will change the way we look at companies that are based in China or have interest in expanding to China, which is often one of the most interesting markets to expand into from the US. The recent developments give us pause and change the way we think about company growth and development when the government could block them from crossing into markets.” 

--written by Alfa Alemayehu

 

 

08/13/2020

The Turkish government is set to amend the existing Internet Law No. 5651 (on the Regulation of Broadcasts via the Internet and the Prevention of Crimes Committed Through such Broadcasts). According to VOA, after his daughter and her husband were insulted on social media, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared in July 2020 that social media are “immoral” and will be “completely banned or controlled.” 

Turkey's new Internet law, which goes into effect October 1, requires social media companies--called "social network providers" under the new law--like TikTok and Facebook to register local offices in Turkey, subjecting them to local laws and tax regulations. Social media companies would face crippling restriction on their bandwidths if the authority found them noncompliant with the new regulation. Failure to comply will also result in substantial fines issued to their mandatory offices in Turkey, once the new legislation has passed.

Social network platforms will also have to store data of Turkish users in Turkey (i.e., data localization). In addition, the social network providers that are accessed more than 1 million times daily are required (1) to have a notice-and-takedown procedure in which people can submit a notice of a violation of rights based on content on the network, and the company must remove the offending material within 48 hours, and (2) to publish transparency reports regarding the notices and takedowns. Accordingly to Lexology, "An administrative fine of TRY 5 million (approx. EUR 615,000) may be imposed for incompliance with takedown request handling and TRY 10 million may be imposed for incompliance with the reporting requirements." Finally, the new law recognizes that people in Turkey have a right to be forgotten and can request their names be removed from webpages as ordered by a court.

Critics of the new law fear that it will be used to censor political dissent. "If the social media platforms decide to establish offices in Turkey, then they will be compelled to remove the content . . . [subject to] so-called personal rights violations," said Professor Yaman Akdeniz, co-founder of the Freedom of Expression Society, an advocacy group in Istanbul, told VOA.

Such attempt to curtail the access to online medias is not unprecedented in Turkey, with over 400,000 web pages banned and thousands of people prosecuted for their posts, according to VOA. In response, people in Turkey utilized VPNs and proxies to counteract the suppression of Internet censorship. However, limiting bandwidths will likely overpower the use of VPN in restraining the accessibility to online contents that the government deems problematic. Devlet Bahçeli, the president of the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), has already called for state intervention in the use of VPN and proxies, to ensure “the clean use of social media.” He also promised his staunch support for any law proposal in the wake of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, further dimming the light of hope for an accessible and free internet.

The fast-growing popularity of social media in Turkey has drawn people from mainstream medias for their news updates. Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners told VOA that one of Erdogan’s primary incentives to propose the stringent legislation is to regain the control of “the flow of information.” Professor Akdeniz also observed that news websites are at risk of facing state censorship and manipulation to “the government’s past injustices, corruption, and irregularity allegations.”  However, as the young generation in Turkey has grown fond of the social media, the attempt to restrain the internet may backfire and alienate those young voters from President Erdogan, warned Yesilada.

Turkey's new Internet law is modeled on Germany's controversial Network Enforcement Act, or NetzDG for short, as explained by EFF: The German "law mandates social media platforms with two million users to name a local representative authorized to act as a focal point for law enforcement and receive content take down requests from public authorities. The law mandates social media companies with more than two million German users to remove or disable content that appears to be “manifestly illegal” within 24 hours of having been alerted of the content."

In summary, Turkey's new Internet law has the following components:

  • Social network providers that are accessed in Turkey more than 1 million times daily must have a local office in Turkey.
  • They must have local storage of data of users in Turkey.
  • They must have a notice and takedown process that allows users to send a notice of unlawful material or violation of rights, after which the company has 48 hours to remove it.
  • They must process right-to-be-forgotten removal of content as ordered by a court. 

For more about Turkey's controversial new law for social network providers, visit Lexology.

--written by Yucheng Cui

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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