WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States fell from 17th place in 2008 to 20th place in 2012, declining in every category of economic freedom and rule of law indicators, the report stated on Tuesday.
"The US performance is worrisome and shows that the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world."
Hong Kong, Switzerland and Denmark topped the rankings while Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iran filled the bottom three slots, the report noted.
The White House has come under fire for policies that have raised civil rights concerns, including mass surveillance practices and cracking down on reporters and whistleblowers.
In February, Reporters Without Borders said the United States continues to exploit protecting national security to clamp down on journalists.
In June 2013, former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden started leaking millions of classified government documents disclosing the agency’s mass surveillance of civilian, corporate as well as government communication.