The state of freedom of expression around the world
The Global Expression Report 2018-19: shows global freedom of expression at a ten-year low. The report provides a global analysis that hinges on five thematic areas related to different expression themes (civic space, digital, media, protection, and transparency) with special regional focus which includes Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. According to the report, the freedom of expression online scored 0.25 which is the lowest score after civic space – the space to participate in public debates and political action. This could be attributed to the adoption of legal frameworks that provide online surveillance through cybercrime laws, as well as the deployment of sophisticated surveillance methods to spy on journalists. The research also found that while a raft of newspaper websites are blocked in Egypt and the Gulf countries. There are also reports that websites are blocked to a degree in Jordan and Palestine.