Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bahrain slide backwards
* Estonia tops United States for No. 1 spot
(Reuters) - Government restrictions on the Internet have risen over the past year around the world as regimes use violence against bloggers and turn to censorship and arrest to squelch calls for reform, a new report from a U.S. advocacy group has found.
Pakistan, Bahrain and Ethiopia saw the biggest rollbacks in Internet freedom since January 2011 and were among the 20 countries out of 47 assessed by Freedom House that declined in their rankings.
In contrast Tunisia, Libya and Burma, all countries that have seen dramatic political opening or regime changes, improved over previous years along with 14 other countries, the U.S. group, which advocates democracy and open societies, said.
The report was released the day that Vietnam handed out stiff jail terms to three high-profile bloggers for their bold criticism of government handling of land rights issues and corruption.