The organization notes that social networks and information applications in Ukraine are not blocked, however there are some cases of access restriction to information and arrests of bloggers and activists.
In particular, human rights defenders pointed out that the Internet market in Ukraine continued to grow, but at the same time, it was suffering from the difficult economic situation, the annexation of Crimea and the crisis in Eastern Ukraine, where, by the way, infrastructural damage took place.
In addition, the organization noted that unlike traditional media, the access to online content on the territory controlled by Ukrainian government did not experience a significant impact from Russian occupation of Crimea and its involvement in the war in the East but meanwhile dozens of Ukrainian websites were censored on Donbas territories controlled by militants.
“Moreover, online discussion forums and social networks continue to be exposed to “partisan voices” from both sides, comments funded by Russia and self-censorship caused by fear,” human rights defenders noted.
Freedom House pointed out that officials were increasingly trying to affect social networks with attempts to fight anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, arrest users with separatist and extremist statements.
The organization added that in general, the physical pressure on the commentators on the Internet weakened, but emphasized the murder of “famous journalist” in July, apparently referring to the journalist of “Ukrayinska Pravda” Pavel Sheremeta.
It was also noted that security of thousands of journalists was threatened due to the information leak about their accreditation in Donbas. Obviously, this is about the distribution of personal data by the website “Myrotvorets”.
Russia in this rating has dropped from 62 to 65 place, thereby maintaining the status of “not free country”.
As is known, last year Russia took 37 place, a year earlier – 33. In 2012 and 2013, Ukraine was on 27 and 28 places respectively, holding a “free country” status.