Read the report: Internet Freedom 2.1: Lessons from Asia’s Developing Democracies
Over the past two decades, the advent and spread of the Internet has underwritten globalization, enabling the faster and cheaper flow of information, ideas, capital, goods, and people. Internet use is closely correlated to the rise of the global economy. The Internet has also had an impact on national and international politics, enabling unprecedented forms of dissent and activism by civil society, as well as the rapid dissemination of news. At the same time, the revolutionary nature of the Internet as a public good has led to new questions about Internet freedom, with important implications for global politics, economics, and social trends. Emerging economies that are also transitional or mature democracies — such as India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh — face unique dilemmas as they tackle the security, political, and economic opportunities and challenges posed by Internet freedom.
To investigate the complex questions related to the future of Internet freedom in emerging economies, GMF’s Asia Program convened workshops in Hyderabad (India) and Jakarta (Indonesia) in September and October of 2013. Discussions at these conferences, which featured participation from regional governments, the private sector, Internet activists, and members of the media — as well as U.S. and European experts and officials — formed the basis for the report.