With the release of the Web Index Rankings, that measure economic, social and political benefits from countries across the world on December 11, there are some interesting results. The United Kingdom, as well as the Scandinavian countries continue to lead the index, and Canada ranks sixteenth.
The World Wide Web Foundation began to produce this index in 2012. The Foundation utilizes a wide variety of data that measure the web’s contribution to the world in the areas of social, political and economic progress.
The report furthers that the web has allowed a level-playing field with unprecedented access to information as allowed by Sir Time Berners-Lee and CERN when they choose not to patent the creation of the web. The report states, “Today, armed with little more than a smart phone, anyone– regardless of where they were born and or how much they earn– can start a business, record a music video, crowd fund an invention, take courses with Nobel Prize- winning professors, or even launch a successful campaign for office.”
In this new index, some chilling statistics have come back to the Foundation. Up thirty two percent from last years numbers, political censorship has increased to forty percent. This included the blocking of political or socially sensitive content. In the news lately has been the issue of net neutrality both here in Canada and the United States, and there is a lack of net neutrality in seventy four percent of countries. It should be noted that according to the Sunlight Foundation, only one percent of the US public is opposed to net neutrality, and this is after a plea from late night show host John Oliver on Last Week Tonight. Even with an estimated 1.8 billion internet users still with little to no right for privacy nor freedom of expression, the governmental control of the web continues to this day.