The "Freedom on The Net 2018" report released by US-based Freedom House on Thursday also revealed that India scored 43 on internet freedom in the world and has shown a declining trend this year, falling in the "partly free" category.
CHINA'S far-reaching foreign policy includes not only investment and political affiliation, but something more insidious and underhand, according to a new report from Freedom House.
They've also found that online freedom across the globe is on the decline once again, making it the eighth consecutive year where that was the case.
The researchers said online freedom is facing threats in democratic and authoritarian states. Media professionals attended two- and three-week seminars entitled, "socialist journalism with Chinese characteristics" and "the important role played by new media in domestic and global affairs", among others.
Lessons from China: China had the worst record of any country in 2018.
What is particularly concerning, Freedom House claims, is that many other countries have also started using the Chinese model of controlling information and conducting intrusive web surveillance. Nearly a third of the countries passed or proposed new laws to restrict online media, citing the fight against "fake news".
China is exporting its Great Firewall tech to other authoritarian countries, like Russian Federation and Uganda, so they can censor their citizens better. It has hosted seminars on cyberspace management since early 2017 with representatives from 36 out of 65 countries tracked by Freedom House, including nations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
During the past year, according to the report, rumors and hate speech that quickly spread on social media helped fuel deadly riots and violence in several countries, including Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India.
The report goes on to stress that the USA should reintroduce the Global Online Freedom Act, which would give the Secretary of State the power to label and penalize countries that engage in restrictions against online freedom. Internet censorship, known as the Great Firewall, has ramped up under Xi, transforming into an "alarmingly effective apparatus of censorship and surveillance". "More governments are turning to China for guidance and support at a time when the United States' global leadership is on the decline, and the acquiescence of foreign companies to Beijing's demands only emboldens the regime in its effort to rewrite worldwide rules in its favor".