Today: Internet Censorship Around the Globe, Apr 23, 2017

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Apr 23, 2017

Internet Censorship Around the Globe, Apr 23, 2017

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internet censorship world map
Depending on where you live, free and open access to the information and entertainment found on the internet might seem like more of a right than a privilege. But for folks who live in some of the world’s more restrictive societies, some or even most of the internet remains tantalizingly out of reach, blocked by government censors and their firewalls.

The majority of such internet censorship is employed in the name of combating software piracy and other types of illegal file sharing (including torrents and file hosting sites such as New Zealand’s controversial Mega.co.nz). It’s interesting to note, however, that while such traffic is actively condemned by both governments and intellectual property advocates alike, corporations such as Netflix are using torrent activity to help them plan their own (legal) offerings.
Another justification for widespread censorship and monitoring of legal content (including torrents, political and social media, and yes, pornography) is state-enforced morality. Countries engaged in this sort of censorship often claim to be looking out for the welfare of their citizenry, but critics are quick to point out that the countries with the most censorship are often the same ones with a history of aggressively suppressing public protest or political unrest.
If you’re taking a trip around the world and plan on accessing the internet (including basics such as email and social media) while you’re on the road, you may need to review and adjust your itinerary if it includes heavily-censored countries such as Eritrea, China, Somalia, or the famously secretive and regulated North Korea. Torrent users — even those who rely on the embattled tech to share legitimate, legal files — might find themselves out of luck no matter where they go.
It’s not just moral or intellectual outrage that’s driving censorship, of course. With the issue of Net Neutrality dominating news in the tech sector, the specter of another form of censorship — selective or restricted access based on corporate policies, as compared to government intervention — has reared its troubling head. Regardless of the form, it’s clear that equal and open access to the internet is something no one can afford to take for granted any longer, and that the discussion of how much — if any — of the internet can or should be censored will continue far into the future.
internet censorship world map

Internet Censorship World Map

The internet, and our freedom to use it as we please, is a contentious issue. Whereas access in some countries can be unrestricted for any materials its government deign legal, in others censorship ranges from governments blocking the dissemination of political opinion, to blacklisting pornographic and social media websites.
No evidence of censorship of legal content
‘Default On’ – content censored unless access requested
Limited access with blocks and monitoring on many sites
Access with heavy restrictions, censorship, and sanctions
No access
Country with heavy censorship Country Name

Asia

Country Social Media Pornography Political Media Torrents
Afghanistan



Armenia



Azerbaijan



Bahrain



Bangladesh



Burma/Myanmar



Cambodia



China



Cyprus



Gaza Strip



Georgia



India



Indonesia



Iran



Iraq



Israel



Japan



Jordan



Kazakhstan



Korea, North



Korea, South



Kuwait



Kyrgyzstan



Laos



Lebanon



Malaysia



Mongolia



Nepal



Oman



Pakistan



Philippines



Qatar



Saudi Arabia



Singapore



Sri Lanka



Syria



Tajikistan



Thailand



Tunisia



Turkmenistan



United Arab Emirates



Uzbekistan



Vietnam



Yemen



Africa

Country Social Media Pornography Political Media Torrents
Algeria



Angola



Egypt



Eritrea



Ethiopia



Gambia, The



Ghana



Kenya



Libya



Malawi



Mauritania



Morocco



Nigeria



Rwanda



South Africa



Sudan



Swaziland



Uganda



North America

Country Social Media Pornography Political Media Torrents
Bahamas, The



Canada



Cuba



Guatemala



Mexico



United States



South America

Country Social Media Pornography Political Media Torrents
Argentina



Brazil



Chile



Colombia



Ecuador



Paraguay



Peru



Venezuela



Europe

Country Social Media Pornography Political Media Torrents
Austria



Belarus



Belgium



Bulgaria



Croatia



Czech Republic



Denmark



Estonia



Finland



France



Germany



Greece



Hungary



Iceland



Ireland



Isle of Man



Italy



Latvia



Moldova



Netherlands



Norway



Poland



Portugal



Romania



Russia



Slovakia



Slovenia



Spain



Sweden



Switzerland



Turkey



Ukraine



United Kingdom



Australia

Country Social Media Pornography Political Media Torrents
Australia



Fiji



New Zealand



Most democratic countries have little Internet censorship, mainly to control piracy. However, some countries limit access to information and suppress discussion among citizens, often in anticipation of elections, protests, and riots.
Freedom of the Internet is not a guarantee.

Sources

  • List of Countries of the World – listofcuontriesoftheworld.com
  • Era of Digital Mercenaries – surveillance.rsf.org
  • Internet Censorship Listed – theguardian.com
  • Burma (Myanmar) – opennet.net
  • Freedom on the Net – freedomhouse.org
  • New Internet Censorship Rules Take Effect in Gaza – jpost.com
  • Freedom House Georgia – freedomhouse.org
  • Internet Freedom Plummets in India – Indiarealtime
  • Freedom House Indonesia – freedomhouse.org
  • Freedom House Kazakhstan – freedomhouse.org
  • Kazakhstan’s Social Networking Restrictions Spur Censorship Debate – washingtontimes.com
  • North Korea: On the Net in World’s Most Secretive Nation – bbc.co.uk
  • Net Freedom under Fire in Kyrgyzstan – netprophet.tol.org
  • Freedom House Libya – freedomhouse.org
  • Oman – opennet.net
  • Syria – Reporters without Borders – en.rsf.org
  • Syria – surveillance.rsf.org
  • Internet Censorship in Dubai and the UAE – plenz.com
  • New Study on Internet Censorship and Political Activism in Uzbekistan – techpresident.com
  • Vietnam Announces Big Fines for Social Media ‘Propaganda’ – reuters.com
  • Internet Filtering in Yemen – opennet.net
  • Internet Censorship in Southeast Asian Countries – saigonist.com
  • Freedom House Cambodia – freedomhouse.org
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