The world in 2012 saw exceptional attacks on truth tellers. The number of journalists in prison reached a record high. An unprecedented 132 reporters were killed, either for exposing misconduct or in the line of duty.
Most of all, 2012 saw a new treaty – supported by 89 nations – that sanctions official curbs on the Internet by 2015.
Oppressive regimes from China to Syria have seen how digital media can easily expose the lies, atrocities, and corruption that help maintain their authoritarian rule. At a December conference of the United Nations-affliated International Telecommunications Union, these governments won approval to stifle the Internet – even to create multiple Internets, one for each country with various types of digital walls at the border.