Kenya among world leaders in internet use

November 25, 2013
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Kenya was listed third in the category coming after the Philippines and Indonesia while Morocco and Ghana followed Kenya in fourth and fifth place respectively/FILE
Kenya was listed third in the category coming after the Philippines and Indonesia while Morocco and Ghana followed Kenya in fourth and fifth place respectively/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Kenya has been listed among some top five developing countries with soaring internet use by the World Wide Web (www) among 81 countries surveyed.

Kenya was listed third in the category coming after the Philippines and Indonesia while Morocco and Ghana followed Kenya in fourth and fifth place respectively.

However even as Kenya recorded growth in internet usage, it was also listed among countries that have ‘inadequate’ safeguards against government spying.

The United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India, Mali and Yemen were also listed among those with similar safeguards.

“One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world,” said Tim Berners-Lee – the man credited with creating internet – who was speaking at the launch of his World Wide Web Foundation’s second annual index measuring the Internet’s contribution to social, economic and political development and human rights.

Berners-Lee at the same time expressed concern over the growing surveillance and censorship of the Internet saying it threatened the future of democracy.

In 80 percent of the 81 countries surveyed, the Internet and social media played a role in public mobilisation in the last year, the foundation said.

“But some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threaten the future of democracy,” he said.

“Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.”

The foundation also observed that developing countries were more likely to block and filter online communications but leaks from fugitive US analyst Edward Snowden revealed that developed countries were more likely to spy on the web.

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are among the worst offenders for censoring politically-sensitive web content and having inadequate safeguards against government surveillance, the report said.

Sweden topped the overall Web Index for developed countries for the second year running, largely because of the widespread penetration of broadband, followed by Norway, Britain, the United States and New Zealand.

Mexico topped the list of emerging market countries, followed by Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica and South Africa.

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