Nigeria has been ranked among countries where internet freedom thrives in the world by Freedom House. According to the report, Nigeria was ranked 15th among countries with the most internet freedom in the world.
Recently, Freedom House, a United States-based non-governmental organisation, released its annual report, which said that Nigeria is ranked among the top 20 countries with the most internet freedom in the world.
According to the report, Nigeria ranked 15th, below South Africa (8), and kenya 13th. Countries that made up the Top 5 include Iceland (1), Estonia (2), Canada (3), Germany (4), Australia (5).
China, Iran, Ethiopia and Syria have the lowest internet freedom.
The report said that in the past year internet freedom declined in 26 countries and improved in 19 countries, out of 65 analysed.
“In the face of government pressure, Nigerian citizens are using online platforms to advocate for better governance”. “Online campaigns, including the social media campaign that followed the kidnapping of more than 100 schoolgirls from Yobe state in February 2018, highlight the continued resilience and dynamism of human rights activists” Freedom House Report.
The Future of Internet Freedom in Nigeria
Persistent civil society advocacy has succeeded in pushing forward the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill first proposed in April 2015. Passed at the House of Representatives in December 2017 and the Senate in March 2018, the bill now only requires the president’s assent before becoming law. If passed, the law will guarantee the application of human rights within the digital environment and promote the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association online, among other impacts on internet freedom in Nigeria.
Internet freedom is measured by the prevalence of censorship laws, surveillance programmes, government hacks, blocking of social media and other ways of limiting or manipulating citizens’ freedom of speech.