WASHINGTON — The year 2016 is a turning point for key issues of internet freedom, a report by watchdog organization Freedom House said Monday.
Governments are now targeting messaging apps, said Freedom House’s Sanja Kelly at a panel hosted by Google.
Governments are both increasingly blocking these apps and arresting users of these apps, she said. Encrypted messaging app WhatsApp was the most blocked app worldwide, Freedom House reported.
Kelly also said both democratic countries and non-democracies are increasing online censorship under the pretext of national security.
Indeed, Sen. Ron Wyden,D-Ore., said Congress could decide to give the FBI access to people’s browser history without judicial oversight. The Senate’s lame duck session opens Tuesday.
But it’s not all bad news: 2016 also saw an “unprecedented” rise in online activism and organization, Kelly said.