Freedom House published the Freedom on the Net 2015 report, placing Armenia among the free countries with a total score of 28 (0 = Best, 100 = Worst).
The internet penetration rate in Armenia has continued improving over the past few years, alongside improvements in the stability of the internet’s infrastructure and relatively few restrictions on online content. Additionally, citizen groups and NGOs have made use of online communication tools to promote and organize campaigns, particularly surrounding the protests in Yerevan against hikes in electricity prices in mid-2015, the report says.
In March 2015, members of parliament proposed amendments to the Law on Personal Data Protection that aim to increase privacy protections by creating an agency with the authority to oversee government decisions with regard to accessing personal data.
Georgia is the other former Soviet republic to be listed among the free countries.
According to the reports, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan are among the partly free countries, while Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan are listed as no free.
Published on Wednesday, October 28, Freedom on the Net 2015 finds internet freedom around the world in decline for a fifth consecutive year as more governments censored information of public interest while also expanding surveillance and cracking down on privacy tools.
The NGO said cases of content removals has increased. Authorities in 42 of the 65 countries assessed required private companies or internet users to restrict or delete web content dealing with political, religious, or social issues, up from 37 the previous year.
Arrests and intimidation have escalated, the report says. Authorities in 40 of 65 countries imprisoned people for sharing information concerning politics, religion or society through digital networks.