As follows from the materials of the study, covering the period from April to September of this year, the country's Internet freedom index fell below zero for the first time.
Among the main events that influenced this, experts call Putin's decree on a single register of data for all citizens of Russia, the introduction of digital passes and a tracking system for people infected with COVID-19 in a number of cities, as well as the provision of information about the electronic wallets of Russians to the Federal Tax Service.
As additional factors, experts call the preparation of bills on blocking the media without a court decision, on the right of security officials to listen to calls and receive details from Russian SIM cards without a court decision, as well as to classify all information on budget spending on articles related to defense and security.
A separate paragraph of the report is devoted to the so-called voting on amendments to the Constitution that took place in late June-early July, in which the holders of many invalid passports were able to take part. At the same time, the personal data of about a million voters who registered to participate in electronic voting in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod were in the public domain on the Internet.
"It took less than five years for the monthly drop to eat up a thousand points, and now the Internet freedom index will be considered in the negative zone", - quotes Nastoyasheye vremya statement of experts of the Internet Defense Society (IDS / OSI).
According to the international human rights organization Freedom House, the Internet freedom index is falling not only in Russia. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries rushed to strengthen surveillance of citizens, explaining this by security requirements. In many countries, extremely harsh surveillance scenarios have been implemented, which were previously described only in science fiction literature and were considered incredible in terms of the degree of interference in private life. In a number of states, it has become a common practice to turn off the Internet in places of protest actions.
The worst situation with Internet freedom, according to researchers, has developed in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Iran. Internet is called not free in Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, India, Ecuador and Nigeria. For the sixth year in a row, experts have recognized China as one of the most problematic countries in the world in terms of Internet freedom.
Specialists are particularly alarmed by the actions of the Russian authorities, which have introduced a system of persecuting citizens for publications on the Web and depriving citizens of the opportunity to use some services for the exchange of encrypted messages.
Experts consider the USA, Georgia, Armenia and Hungary to be the most free in the network sphere.