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Security forces check identification at a checkpoint in Cotabato on the island of Mindanao, Philippines, 20 January 2019, NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

2018 saw the General Data Protection Regulation introduced in May, but it also saw public bodies, security and law enforcement agencies awarding themselves ever increasing surveillance powers.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (right) with Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, at the SDG Media Zone, United Nations, New York, 18 September 2017, UN Photo/Cia Pak

Your State has committed to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms. This is what the Sustainable Development Goal 16.10 affirms. Is your government meeting its commitment? Help monitor its progress – and contribute to it!

Demonstrators cross the Chain Bridge during a protest against the dubbed 'slave law' and in support of the Central European University, in Budapest, Hungary, 13 December 2018, PETER KOHALMI/AFP/Getty Images

Coalitions of states, often backed by civic groups and popular protests, are driving a global trend to confront the abuses of anti-rights populists.

Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Privacy International shows what this data sharing looks like in practice, particularly for people who do not have a Facebook account.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj attends a Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee event in New York City, 25 June 2018, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Netflix

Netflix’s decision to comply with a censorship request from Saudi Arabia has renewed an ongoing debate about how international companies should respond to politically motivated censorship demands when operating in repressive countries.

A world map decorated with flowers pays tribute to media personnel killed in Kabul, Afghanistan and elsewhere, during an event in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, 2 May 2018, Saikat Paul/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The International Federation of Journalists lists 94 journalists and media staff killed in work-related incidents during 2018, up from 82 in 2017.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (C) attends the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City, 31 December 2018, Noam Galai/WireImage

The 2019 Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop rang in the year with a celebration of press freedom, selecting the Committee to Protect Journalists as the year’s charity honoree.

Images of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi are seen on a big screen during a commemorative ceremony held in Istanbul, Turkey, 11 November 2018, Chris McGrath/Getty Images

“There is a growing movement, including in countries once seen as guarantors of fundamental rights, aimed at destroying the press as an institution of democracy”, IPI said.

Journalists take shelter during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in Caracas, Venezuela, 14 June 2017, JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images

A total of 80 journalists were killed this year, 348 are currently in prison, and 60 are being held hostage, according to the annual RSF worldwide round-up, which shows an unprecedented level of hostility towards media personnel.

Protesters mark World Press Freedom Day and call for the release of journalists held in Turkish prisons, outside the Italian Parliament in Rome, 2 May 2017, Simona Granati/Corbis via Getty Images

For the third year in a row, 251 or more journalists are jailed around the world, suggesting the authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than a temporary spike.

Al-Rahel Al-Kabir (The Great Departed), Facebook/The Great Departed

In 2018, SMEX launched a petition in collaboration with the Lebanese band Al-Rahel Al-Kabir to make their songs – which had been censored from iTunes Middle East – available on the platform.

A migrant makes a call with the help of a member of the Italian Red Cross outside the 'Tracing Bus', a mobile office giving people the opportunity to re-establish a link with their families, in Rome, 6 March 2017, ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

To ensure that the use of new technologies does not result in any harm, humanitarian organisations must develop and implement appropriate data protection standards, including robust risk assessments.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg before the start of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing on 'Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data', Washington, D.C., 10 April 2018, Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

A collection of newly released documents suggests that the company adopted a host of features and policies even though it knew those choices would harm users and undermine innovation.

A protest near the Indian parliament over the murder of journalists following the kiling of Sandeep Sharma, in New Delhi, 27 March 2018, SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images

The only choice for reporters who uncover facts about organized crime is often between saying nothing and risking their lives. Worldwide, more than 30 journalists have been killed by criminal organizations since the start of 2017, RSF learned.

Thousands of people demonstrate on the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 25 November 2018 , Miquel Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As Privacy International highlights in their latest report From Oppression to Liberation: Reclaiming the Right to Privacy – privacy has not always been on the side of women.

A visualisation of key information from the 2018 UNESCO Director General’s report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity.