Political activist organisation Freedom House released a study which finds that 'internet freedom' was facing increased threats of cyber attacks and politically motivated censorship.
In the organisation's 404-page '2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media' report, Freedom House said encroachments on internet freedom were occuring at a time of explosive growth in the number of internet users worldwide.
One of the key trends observed in the report was the censorship of social networking.
The activist report said that governments were responding to the "increased influence of the new medium by seeking to control online activity", chiefly by restricting the flow of information.
"These detailed findings clearly show that internet freedom cannot be taken for granted," said Freedom House boss David J. Kramer.
"Nondemocratic regimes are devoting more attention and resources to censorship and other forms of interference with online expression."
The firm named a number of countries specifically at risk including Jordan, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
The full report can be read here (pdf).