Internet users want it less censored, less controlled, more activist: survey

The latest wide-ranging Global Internet User Survey from the Internet Society finds that Internet users see it as an important force for positive change and are concerned about attempts at censorship. And that they may not take privacy as seriously as they should.

The annual survey queried more than 10,000 people in 20 countries (Canada not among them) about their attitudes towards the Internet and behaviors online, covering topics from managing personal information and the Internet as a force for economic development, education and human rights.

“Internet users are the source of innovation that has driven the Internet’s development, evolution and dramatic growth over the past four decades, and they will continue to do so. Indeed, as the Internet continues to grow and evolve, the 5 billion people not connected today will play a significant role in shaping its path going forward,” the report said.

Among the key findings, 83 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that access to the Internet should be considered a basic human right, and 86 per cent agreed Internet access allows freedom of expression on all subjects, with 60 per cent saying Internet access has contributed significantly to their country’s political freedoms. Censorship is an issue though, with 30 per cent strongly agreeing currently exists and 70 per cent opposing more government involvement.

Nearly all users (98 per cent) agreed the Internet is key to their knowledge and education, and 96 per cent of respondents access it at least once a day. Most of them (90 per cent) use social media, including 60 per cent at least once daily, up 10 per cent over last year.

For more findings, click the link below (opens a PDF).

Source | Global Internet User Survey 2012

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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