But the Arab Spring — the name given to a cascade of revolts across the Arab world — has also led to the opening up of some regimes.
Libya, where the repressive rule of Moammar Gadhafi was thrown off in a violent revolt, was removed from the list of countries under surveillance.
"In Libya, many challenges remain but the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime has ended an era of censorship," the report said.
Image: An undated image showing the phenemon that was the Arab Spring in Egypt. Arab Spring is the name given by the media to highlight the revolution that took place in the form of citizen protests in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain. But the revolution wasn't televised, rather it was tweeted, Facebooked and YouTubed. The protesters used social media to organize, mobilize and document the events. (Photo credit: AP)