Global Internet Freedom Declines: AI Enables Repression

Internet freedom in the world is reduced under the influence of progress in the field of artificial intelligence, reads new report.

Internet Freedom Threatened by Artificial Intelligence Advancements

A new report by Freedom House warns that internet freedom worldwide is being diminished due to advancements in artificial intelligence. The study, titled “Freedom on the Internet 2023: Repressive Artificial Intelligence Force,” reveals that governments are actively using automated systems to bolster online censorship. Simultaneously, disinformation distributors are employing AI tools to create fake images, audio, and texts.

The report highlights that in 22 countries, the legislative framework compels digital platforms to utilize machine learning for removing political, social, and religious content that goes against the national ideology.

Michael J. Abramovitz, the head of Freedom House, emphasizes, “Artificial intelligence can become an instrument for deepening censorship, strengthening surveillance, and the large-scale dissemination of misinformation.” He underlines the urgent need to protect human digital rights, particularly in the face of autocratic regimes seeking new methods of information control.

As a solution, the report calls on democratic states to strengthen the regulation of AI, ensuring transparency, effective control mechanisms, and the protection of human rights.

However, even democracies heavily rely on self-regulation within the industry. Therefore, the report advocates for the development of strict human rights standards for both state and non-state participants.

Declining Internet Freedom in Various Countries

The report reveals a significant deterioration in internet freedom over the past year. Iran has experienced the greatest decline as authorities have blocked internet services and social networks to suppress protests. Other countries, such as the Philippines, Belarus, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, have also witnessed substantial decreases.

China maintains its notorious position as the world leader in limiting internet freedom for the ninth consecutive year. However, Myanmar emerges as a serious competitor due to the execution of individuals involved in online intrusions.

On a positive note, Iceland retains its status as the country with the best internet environment for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Estonia.

The report also recognizes the United States as a global leader in combating spy software, citing an executive order that prohibits federal agencies from using commercially available spy products that pose a threat to national security.

Similarly, the authors of the report urge the European Union to follow the US

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