America's internet is incredibly free compared to most countries

We’ve been scanning Freedom House’s 2015 report on internet freedom around the world.

One fact that surprised us — given how much Americans talk about censorship — is how relatively little internet censorship there is in the US. As in zero censorship of the important topics tracked by the free expression watchdog.

Here’s a breakdown of censored topics by country:

A map of internet censorship ratings (free, partly free, or not free) by country:

And a ranking of internet freedom scores (low is more free):

Now not everyone has such a rosy assesment of US censorship.

Reporters Without Borders called the US an Enemy of the Internet in 2014, saying “US surveillance practices and decryption activities are a direct threat to investigative journalists, especially those who work with sensitive sources for whom confidentiality is paramount and who are already under pressure.”

Freedom House’s 2015 report, released in October last year, noted some concerns about the US, like increasing pressure on private companies to install backdoors and arrests for some people who filmed police actions.

Still, the US looks better than most of the world, ranking sixth out of 65 countries, with China coming in dead last.

Things could get worse. Freedom House also pointed to declining internet freedom around the world for the fifth straight year, “with more governments censoring information of public interest and placing greater demands on the private sector to take down offending content.” Not exactly a heartening trend.

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