Global internet freedom took a major hit, man. Like, seriously, it declined for the thirteenth freakin’ year in a row in 2023. And you know why? AI, bro. Yeah, artificial intelligence is being used to spread disinformation and censor content. It’s messed up, dude.
So, this new report from Freedom House, this nonprofit organization in the US, shows that internet freedom is getting restricted in a lot of countries, man. Myanmar, the Philippines, Costa Rica, they’re all cracking down on online freedoms. But China takes the cake, man. They’ve got the worst internet freedom levels for nine years straight. It’s insane.
Check it, Freedom House has been around since 1941, man. They put out these reports each year, one called Freedom in the World and the other called Freedom on the Net. They basically rate countries on their civil liberties and online liberties, respectively.
Now, why is this happening? Well, according to Allie Funk from Freedom House, there are a couple of big reasons. First off, democracy is declining overall, man. It’s not just about internet freedom, but like, everything. And secondly, China is killing it when it comes to exporting their model of cyber sovereignty. They’ve got this down to a science, bro.
And here’s the kicker, AI is making things worse, man. It’s like an accomplice to digital repression. AI-powered tools are being used to spread disinformation in at least 16 countries, messing with public debate and smearing opponents. And get this, AI is also making it easier to censor content. In over 20 countries, local laws force digital platforms to remove content that goes against political, social, or religious norms.
India, for example, passed a law requiring social media companies to use AI tools to filter out illegal content. So, the government doesn’t even have to order the removal of specific posts anymore, man. It’s like an eternal censorship machine, suppressing information and opinions.
But hold up, AI isn’t all bad, dude. It can actually be used to expand internet freedoms. For real, there’s this AI system called Geneva that can bypass internet censorship. We just need to regulate AI properly, so it can operate in a safe and fair way. It can be a game-changer for internet freedom, man.
Now, it’s a complex issue, bro, but there are things we can do to fight back. Governments and companies should stop selling surveillance technologies to authoritarian regimes, man. It’s hypocritical, ’cause a lot of these technologies are created in democratic countries. We gotta regulate that stuff and make sure it doesn’t contribute to the erosion of civil and political liberties.
President Biden took a step in the right direction by signing that executive order, limiting the use of commercial spyware by federal agencies. It’s progress, man.
Freedom House suggests that policymakers should work with global experts to establish human rights-based standards for developing and deploying AI tools. We gotta protect freedom of expression, man. It’s all about strong legal and regulatory safeguards for digital communication and access to information.
So, let’s keep fighting the good fight and defend our online freedoms, bro. We can make a difference, man.