China’s top cyber authority on Thursday rejected a recent report ranking it last out of 65 countries for press freedom, retorting with the argument that the internet must be “orderly” and that the PRC advocates the free flow of information.
According to the Vice Minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) Ren Xianliang, the proof of China’s success in the Internet space is its rapid development. He also noted that China’s version promotes the free flow of information.
Presumably in reference to the attention that fake news has been getting in the media lately, Ren told journalists:
“We should not just make the internet fully free, it also needs to be orderly… The United States and Europe also need to deal with these fake news and rumors.”
What is the Freedom of Net Ranking?
U.S. non-profit Freedom House ranks countries every year in terms of Internet freedom, and China has been sitting at the bottom of the pile for the last three years in a row. The organization even had choice words for China this year, calling it the worst abuser of internet freedom.
Iceland, Estonia, Canada, Germany and United States took the top five positions. You can see the ranking list here.
Some of the Key findings from the report:
Online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including the United States.
Disinformation tactics contributed to a seventh consecutive year of overall decline in internet freedom, as did a rise in disruptions to mobile internet service and increases in physical and technical attacks on human rights defenders and independent media.
A record number of governments have restricted mobile internet service for political or security reasons, often in areas populated by ethnic or religious minorities.
For the third consecutive year, China was the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom, followed by Syria and Ethiopia.
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