Net is Less Free and More Unequal

According to a report from the World Wide Web Foundation, the web is becoming less free and more unequal.

The annual web index suggests web users are at risk of government surveillance and indicates censorship is on the rise.

The report was led by web inventor Sir Tim Berners Lee to call for net access to be recognised as a human right.

The World Wide Web Foundation measures the webs contribution to the social, economic and political progress of 86 countries.

Other findings from the report include:

74% of countries lack clear and effective net neutrality rules and/or show evidence of traffic information.

62% of countries report that the web plays a major role in sparking social or political action.

74% of countries are not doing enough to stop online harassment of women.

The index ranked countries around the world in terms of universal access, relevant content and use, freedom and openness and empowerment.

Anne Jellema, chief executive of the World Wide Web Foundation said: "The richer and better educated people are the more benefit they are gaining from the digital revolution.

"Extreme disparities between rich and poor have been rightly identified as the defining challenge of our age, and we need to use technology to fight inequality, not increase it."

Sir Tim Berners Lee added: "It's time to recognise the internet as a basic human right.

"That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of web users regardless of where they live."

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