For the third straight year, Freedom House's recent survey indicates Estonia has the greatest internet freedom in the world.
Among the 47 nations surveyed in "Freedom on the Net 2012: Shifting Methods of Internet Control", Estonia placed first. Estonia was followed by the United States and Germany. On a scale from 0 to 100 (with 0 being absolute press freedom), the top three received 10, 12 and 15 points respectively.
The biggest problems with internet freedoms are in Iran, where the score was 90; Cuba with 86, China with 85 and Syria with 83.
The report was officially released at Google's Washington office.
Addressing the Washington gathering by video bridge from New York, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that freedom of expression online was treated as a fundamental liberty. "In spite of the fact that Estonia experienced a cyber attack five years ago, we do not support regulation or censorship of Internet freedom. Any sort of sense of security, including in the field of cyber security, cannot come at the detriment of primary freedoms, even Internet freedom," he said.
Estonia did not score perfectly, however, as Freedom House president David Kramer and report author Sanja Tatic Kelly pointed out in comments to ETV. One minus was overly stringent enforcement of copyrights, leading to the removal of hundreds of videos from Youtube. Another was a court decision from 2008 that saddled forum administrators with liability for anonymous comments posted there.
"Estonia gets ten points, which means that Estonia did not get a better result in ten smaller areas," said Kelly.