Watchdog Report: US Internet Is Less Free After Net Neutrality Repeal

Net neutrality required internet providers to treat all internet traffic equally.
Posted at 9:27 PM, Nov 01, 2018

The U.S. has dropped in its internet freedom ranking following the repeal of net neutrality rules.

That's according to international watchdog group Freedom House. Its Freedom on the Net annual report scores a representative sample of 65 countries from 0-100. Lower scores mean more freedom. The U.S. was given a 22 in 2018, but that's a one-point drop from the year before.

Freedom House says that's due to the U.S.' repeal of net neutrality provisions. Those required internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally. 

Researchers were also concerned about the amount of misinformation on social media.

Countries are scored in three different categories: obstacles to access, limits on content, and violations of user rights, like government surveillance.

Countries like Iran and Syria fell within the "not free" score range, but China was 2018's worst internet abuser.

The report also says internet freedom has declined worldwide for the eighth year in a row.