Report documents that internet users are losing freedom around the world


The following, sadly, is not a surprise:

A new report says Internet freedom has deteriorated worldwide in the past year, while activists are finding new ways to counter repressive measures.

Freedom House says new laws controlling web content and increased arrests of social-media users led to a decline in Internet freedom.

In its report, “Freedom on the Net 2013,” the U.S.-based non-governmental organization looked at trends in Internet freedom in 60 countries and studied obstacles to Internet access, limits on content and violations of user rights.

The project director for Freedom on the Net, Sanja Kelly, said governments are increasingly looking at who is saying what online and finding ways to punish them.

Freedom House says an increase in surveillance is the most significant new trend, finding that more than half the countries studied have broadened technical or legal surveillance programs. The report also says many governments have passed laws to limit expression online, in an effort to control social media.

The yearly report listed 34 countries as having a decline in Internet freedom, including Vietnam, Ethiopia, India, the United States and Brazil.

The United States slipped on the list of countries with the greatest degree of Internet freedom, largely due to surveillance activities revealed by Edward Snowden. But the U.S. remains among the top five countries for Internet freedom.

The report also lists the most commonly used types of Internet controls, which range from blocking and filtering to physical attacks on people. Freedom House says people were beaten, attacked or tortured in 26 countries, often in retaliation for exposing human rights abuses.

Several countries employ commentators to post online and manipulate discussions by discrediting government opponents, spreading propaganda and defending government policies while not disclosing that they work for the government.

I looked over this 888 page report and basically it points to a trend to reduce internet freedom.  I, would however, add that because of its outrage over the spying by the National Security Agency by the USA government, the government of Brazil seems to have taken many steps to increase internet freedom, or at least privacy rights, in the past couple of months.  But there is more going on than that.

Here are some quotes from the 888 page report:

October 3, 2013…

Of the 60 countries assessed , 34 have experienced a negative trajectory since May 2012. Further policy deterioration was seen in authoritarian states such as Vietnam and Ethiopia, where the downgrades reflected new government measures to restrict free speech, new arrests, and harsh prison sentences imposed on bloggers for posting articles that were critical of the authorities.

Pakistan’s downgrade reflected the blocking o f thousands of websites and pronounced violence against users of information and communication technologies (ICT s). In Venezuela, the decline was caused by a substantial increase in censorship surrounding politically sensitive events : the death of P resident Hugo Chávez and the presidential elections that preceded and followed it.

Deterioration was also observed in a number of democracies, often as a result of struggles to balance freedom of expression with security. The most significant year- on -year decline was seen in India, which suffered from deliberate interruptions of mobile and internet service to limit unrest, excessive blocks on content during rioting in northeastern states, and an uptick in the filing of criminal charges against ordinary users for posts on social-media sites. The United States experienced a significant decline as well, in large part due to reports of extensive surveillance tied to intelligence gathering and counterterrorism. And in Brazil, declines resulted from increasing limitations on online content, particularly in the context of the country’s stringent electoral laws; cases of intermediary liability; and increasing violence against online journalists…restrictions on internet freedom continue to expand across a wide range of countries. Over the past year, the global number of censored websites has increased, while internet users in various countries have been arrested, tortured, and killed over the information they posted online. (Kelly S, et al, editors. Freedom on the Net, 2013.  October 3, 2013.

In a sermon on November 27, 1982 titled “U.S. of Europe is Coming,” Herbert Armstrong stated:

“Anyway this whole United States of Europe, when it goes together, is going to trigger nuclear World War III. Now let me tell you what else it’s going to do. It’s going to END OUR WORK! OUR WORK WILL BE THROUGH of getting the gospel to the world. That is, very shortly after it goes into force and effect; because they will move in such a way that it will end it. And then I’ll tell you what will happen. As you read here in Amos, the 8th chapter and verse 11 of Amos. Amos 8:11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread …but of hearing the word of the LORD.’ ”  (

In a November 22, 1982 co-worker letter, he wrote:

“… brethren and co-workers, the prophesied Great Tribulation (nuclear World War III) will start soon after the European unification. That means OUR WORK OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE FINISHED! We have not now much more time. Soon shall come a FAMINE of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11). God says, work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work – in the Work of God! Nothing else is important in our lives, now, but this all-important Work of God.” (

So, the Bible teaches that the time will come when the word of God will not be found. And that would seem to be because it will be taken off the internet. In the 21st century, the internet is accessed by people in every country, and thus some type of internet restriction/suspension/site removal is coming.

Amos 8:12 will apparently happen after Daniel 11:33 and Matthew 24:14 are fulfilled, but portions may begin as early as Daniel 11:28. With FCC “net neutrality” rules (they were approved to start to use in late 2010), we are getting close to that time when governments will be too offended by the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom so that some will take steps to stop it from being proclaimed. Perhaps under the guise of “neutrality,” perhaps under the guise of “The Patriot Act,” perhaps under the guise of “public welfare” or national security, something will be done to stop perhaps all of the organized media efforts to proclaim biblical truths.

Furthermore, on August 11, 2011, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom stated that he wanted Scotland Yard to consider stopping suspected rioters from having the ability to utilize “social media” that involved the internet (see UK’s Cameron May Call Out the Troops and Restrict Social Media)–thus the idea of interference with the ability to proclaim the gospel that way may fulfill what the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong understood, just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

The work (in the Amos 8:12 sense) may be stopped by government officials (like on the internet, radio, etc.) and persecutions began because people of the holy covenant are warning the world of the results of their sins (which they will not want pointed out) and teaching that the King of the North is fulfilling these prophecies in Daniel 11. The faithful may be saying things that are not “politically correct” to the point that one or more governments will take action (especially if we are saying, and I expect to help do this, that a certain individual is the King of the North and that he will invade and destroy the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, etc.). Yet, God’s work still will be accomplished and the final phase of the work completed.

Have no misunderstandings, more internet restrictions are coming, but Matthew 24:14 still will be fulfilled.

Some items of possibly related interest include the following:
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power? Various allegations have surfaced about the United States government spying on its own citizens as well as its supposed allies in the European Union. Whether or not all the espionage allegations are true, and the main ones have not been publicly denied by the government of the USA, the reality is that this does have prophetic ramifications and will help the Beast of Revelation. This video provides quotes from the Bible showing how this is so. The USA is placing itself in a position to be taken over and its response to the allegations will make it easier for the Europeans to do so.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation
Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel
Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?  .
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

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