Rating Freedom

A new survey on international press freedom has triggered criticism and concern among journalists in the United States who claim flawed methodology led to the country’s 17th-place ranking. The Paris-based group that conducted the survey, Reporters Without Borders, acknowledged that some rankings were surprising in its first-ever worldwide study of press freedom. The United States ranked behind mostly European countries as well as Canada, Australia and Costa Rica. – Robert Bluey The Council of Europe has adopted a measure that would criminalize Internet hate speech, including hyperlinks to pages that contain offensive content. The provision, which was passed by the council’s decision-making body (the Committee of Ministers), updates the European Convention on Cybercrime. Specifically, the amendment bans “any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as pretext for any of these factors.” – Julia Scheeres