Nine of the 15 countries that the Washington-based think-tank assessed in 2009 fared worse this year, among them Iran, Tunisia and China. On the plus side, citizens are growing increasingly adept at sidestepping these threats to their internet freedoms, and the use of social media did much to galvanise political opposition across the Arab world in recent months. Indeed web-users in some countries, such as Georgia and Estonia, have more freedom now than they did two years ago.
I'm struck by the relatively high Internet penetration in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The United States' acquiescence in the brutal suppression of Bahrainian democracy is one of the least noted tragedies of the Arab Spring.