When I’m talking about Internet censorship, I don’t mean how your parent’s have put a block on porn sites. I’m talking about the real online censorship which restricts your ability to get to relevant information thanks to government controls.
In this supposedly ‘free’ world where freedom reigns, more and more controls are being placed on the Internet. Some countries are worse than others. Some won’t surprise you as being restrictive at all, but one just may shock you. Read on to discover the worst Internet censorship areas, and read to the end to see what you can do if you’re in one of those countries.
Countries with the worst Internet censorship
Anarchy in the UK?
You may not believe this, but stiff upper lip England, and the UK in general, is a terrible place for Internet censorship. You can read into it a little bit more in depth in my article specifically on censorship in the UK, but the basics are that the UK is currently on the Enemies of the Internet list but together by the independent Reporters without Borders group. I’m pretty sure that their French bias towards the English isn’t showing here, the UK is genuinely restrictive when it comes to the Internet.
Their Cleanfeed program was started to block child pornography, which no one can blame them for. The problem is that this censorship has been expanding ever since, and shows no sign of reaching a point where it will end. Their recent censorship of porn showing facesitting and g-spot orgams being the most…there are no words. It’s simply gone much too far and borders on repression of women’s sexual rights.
And now for a complete lack of surprise – the Great Firewall of China
The Great Firewall in China was not built in a day. The Internet was first introduced to China back in 1994, and they worked to control it even then. Officiially, Internet censorship in China didn’t start until 1998. The actual name for the censorship tool in China is The Golden Shield Project, which makes it sound like they’re protecting their people. But they aren’t. The government its protecting its own interests, and it’s interests are not best for the people.
As an example, websites that refer to independence for Tibet or Taiwan are censored. Any mention of the Tiananmen Square protests are blocked. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – all blocked. Even some VPNs are blocked – read more about the best VPNs for China on our list.
We need a ‘The Interview’ moment for North Korea’s Internet
Another communist regime that’s heavy on the ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt us, but will kill you’ rhetoric is North Korea. Every single aspect of their media is controlled by the government. At this time, it is estimated that only 4% of the population has Internet access – that about 960,000 of its 24 million people.
Even those who have access to ‘the Internet,’ only really have access to Kwangmyong – the heavily controlled local version of what is suppose to be the World Wide Web. Exact details are slim to nil, but it’s estimated that there are between 1,000 – 5,500 total websites available to people who use Kwangmyong. I bet I could find that many websites talking about Miley Cyrus alone.
Saudi Arabia’s Internet Censorship connects to religion
“offensive or harmful nature to the society, and which violate the tenants of the Islamic religion or societal norms.”
This usually means all porn is blocked, but they also add a heavy side of censorship on anything that supports LGBT rights. Anything supporting Shia ideology is also restricted, and you had better not say anything mean about the Saudi government because it will make them cry a little and they will censor you.
Other countries with similar types of online censorship include Iran, Syria, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.
Social media sites being censored
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been targeted from time to time by a few countries. Those known to have banned one, or all, of them include:
As you can see, Internet censorship isn’t isolated to North Korea and China alone. It’s happening in more and more countries.
What you can do to get around this to use a VPN for geo-blocking which encrypts your traffic. The content you want to see can’t be censored if those imposing the censorship don’t know what it is you’re trying to look at.
Feature image credit to Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock