More than 18 countries increased their surveillance in 2018, often without independent oversight.
Encryption tools were attacked, weakened, and even banned in various countries, while circumvention tools like virtual private networks were also banned and restricted. Secure messaging application, Telegram, continued to come under fire during 2018, and was entirely banned in Iran and Russia.
The UK authorities started to use facial-recognition technologies at protests in 2018, and were even discovered to be carrying out surveillance against human rights organisations.
 Freedom House, Freedom on the Net 2018, available at https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/freedom-net-2018