After the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act and threats to pursue journalists on national security, the UK has slid a further two places down the World Press Freedom Index. The Index, which is compiled by the Paris-based international NGO Reporters without Borders, showed that the UK now ranks in 40th place out of 180 countries on issues ranging from transparency to self-censorship. This puts the UK below France, Chile and South Africa.
The drop is a direct result of the increased use of surveillance in the UK. It is also the worst ranking given to the UK since 2015. The decline marks wider trends seen across the world, with even the Nordic countries dropping a few places as well.
Jim Killock, Open Rights group executive, said of the development: “Extensive surveillance powers are threatening investigative journalism and freedom of expression in the UK. In just four years, the UK has fallen ten places in the World Press Freedom Index, a deeply worrying trend that needs to be addressed.”
Outside of the UK, Norway ranked top of the list in press freedoms whilst North Korea ranked at the bottom.
You can view the entire Index here.