Here in the UK, it's easy to slip into the comfortable idea that the internet is unrestricted, a home for free speech and exploration, whether it's meaningful and important, or dumb hashtags. Provided David Cameron doesn't get his way, that is. It's not that way everywhere though, and Freedom House has mapped out the current state of affairs across the globe.
Freedom House's Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media comes out once a year, and the 2013 edition, which dropped on Thursday, shows that there's still a lot of censored, un-free internet out there. For the most part, the over aching categories have stayed much the same as they were in 2012; it takes a lot to go from free internet to not free internet, or vice verse. Still, Freedom House indexes the little changes too. As you can see in the graph of countries whose scores have declined, the United States has taken a hit thanks to all that NSA jazz, but still gets to remain classified as "free."
So the next time you're miffed because your connection cuts out our that page won't load, remember it could be way worse. You can read more about the ranking system and the unpleasant details of internet restriction in Freedom House's full report. [Freedom House via The Washington Post]