Even as internet users in India continue to multiply at a swift rate, a recent report finds that internet and digital freedom has been on a decline.
Despite efforts to bridge the digital divide in India, the report by Freedom House, a US-based think tank, says that this is because of a rise in surveillance of social media and messaging tools by the government.
India has slipped in the ranking as it scored only 41/100, which has been described as ‘Partly Free’.
"Popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have been subject to growing censorship for several years, but governments are now increasingly going after messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram," Sanja Kelly, director of the study told AFP.
Here are the factors leading to a low score:
Not just in India, overall, internet freedom around the world also witnesses a declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year. Two-thirds of all internet users – 67 percent – live in countries where criticism of the government, military or ruling family is subject to censorship.
China has emerged to be the worst abuser of internet freedom in 2016.