World Wide Web Foundation’s Web Index Ranking

04/10/2012

Leading the Region – Chile, Mexico, and Brazil

According to a report published by the World Wide Web Foundation (thewebindex.org/data/index/), Chile (19), Mexico (22) and Brazil (24) are the Latin American countries that ranked the highest in the first global Internet impact measurement.

The index –which measures Internet use in various nations– included data from 61 countries around the world. Sweden leads the ranking, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. According to the report, in most countries the Internet’s potential has not yet been fully tapped and a huge digital divide exists between continents –in Africa, less than one in six people use the Internet, while the global average is one in three.

In order to rank each country, the World Wide Web Foundation analyzed the quality and extent of communications infrastructure, the policies regulating Internet access, users’ level of education, Internet penetration, and the Internet’s social, economic and political impact. In the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, the ranking is led by Chile, Mexico and Brazil, followed by Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador.

Threats to the Open Internet. The first Netizen report for Latin America and the Caribbean was published this month, an idea that came up recently at the Global Voices Summit as an effort to showcase the multiple threats that the open Internet is facing in the region.

This first report focuses on recent bills affecting the fundamental rights of Internet users in the region. During the past two months, governments in several countries –Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador, among others– have proposed legislation that affects freedom of expression, access to information, anonymity, and online privacy.

In contrast with these proposals, the report highlights the Internet Civil Regulatory Framework (Marco Civil da Internet), a Brazilian initiative currently under discussion by the Brazilian parliament. The only one of its kind, this bill emphasizes the protection of basic online rights while trying to achieve a balance between the interests of users, companies and government regarding aspects such as intellectual property, file exchange, and P2P networks.

The report also highlights the work carried out by the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA), a LACNIC initiative aimed at contributing to the development of the Information Society in our region by funding research projects (by means of small grants) and recognizing and rewarding innovative approaches in the use of ICTs for development (through calls for nominations).

The complete report is available here.

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