Freedom on the Net 2014 – the fifth annual comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe, covering developments in 65 countries that occurred between May 2013 and May 2014 – finds internet freedom around the world in decline for the fourth consecutive year, with 36 out of 65 countries assessed in the report experiencing a negative trajectory during the coverage period. In a departure from the past, when most governments preferred a behind-the-scenes approach to internet control, countries rapidly adopted new laws that legitimize existing repression and effectively criminalize online dissent.
Uber, the taxi service that allows users to hail a ride using their smartphone, has been valued at more than $40bn (£25.5bn) after its latest funding round. The total is more than double the $18.2bn the company was said to be worth in June, when it raised $1.2bn from investors including Fidelity Investments and BlackRock. Uber did not reveal who had put a further $1.2bn in the business.
It already counts Goldman Sachs and Google Ventures as investors. The latest valuation make the business worth more than listed companies such as the airline Delta ($37.4bn) and Kraft Foods ($35.4bn).
Only Facebook was valued higher as a private company – $50bn – by investors when it raised money ahead of floating on Nasdaq. The social network is now valued at almost $210bn.
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