Depending on where you live, you probably have a lot of internet benefits that you might not even know of. Most of us have very little or no restrictions at all when it comes to our internet. We all have a connection in our homes, with great speeds, and the ability to access basically anything.
That is why people are raising such a fuss whenever they can’t get something that they want. However, it is important to know, and also to remember from time to time, that not everyone has it like that. There are some countries that don’t allow the internet, at all.
Others have their own version of the internet, which is then used for feeding people lies, and some chosen facts. Some countries only allow a basic internet connection that gives access to a few miserable websites. All the while, the majority of the web, that we enjoy every day, is not only unavailable to them, but they don’t even know it exists.
Many countries treat the internet a potential weapon, and you can almost tell in what way do they treat their citizens by looking what they allow when it comes to the internet. In order to show you just how bad it can get, we have prepared a list of ten countries that have huge censorship laws and issues. Let us begin.
When it comes to North Korea’s internet, it is completely under the control of the government. It only allows access to about 4% of their population, and even that is under heavy censorship. All for the purpose of carefully controlling what the public can see and think.
Many would agree that situation in Burma is pretty much equally bad. Multiple reports claim that this country’s authorities are heavily filtering emails, which is only one part of the restrictions and surveillance that they are forcing.
They also block access to websites that disagree with their government. But the worst of all is the fact that they are blocking websites that are exposing human rights violations. That says enough about the country of Burma.
Our third entry is Cuba, where the situation is only a little bit better. The government of Cuba has organized certain ‘access points’, which are the only places for their citizens to access the web.
Still, the online activities are under surveillance, and a lot of it is under restrictions. This includes IP blocking, as well as keyboard filtering. And on top of all that, the government is still checking search history all the time. And when it comes to uploading content, the only people who have permission to do that are the pro-government users.
The situation in Saudi Arabia is seen as desperate by any regular internet user. They have 400,000 websites under some sort of block or restriction. This mostly includes those websites that discuss politics, religion, or social topics.
These sort of discussions are seen as incompatible with Islamic beliefs, which in turn makes them prohibited. However, you can see just how much better even this is when you compare it to our previous entries.
The situation in Iran is also pretty bad from regular user’s perspective. Iranian bloggers must all register at the country’s Ministry of Art and Culture, without exceptions.
In case that anyone ever tries to speak against the country, and especially against the country’s leaders, will end up in jail. People like that are seen as criminals, and they often suffer all kinds of harassments.
Now, China is at a completely different level of censorship. Some would say that their censorship program is easily the most rigid in the world.The Chinese government does whatever they can in order to block different websites, filter searches, and alike.
All of the content that is seen as ‘inconvenient’ mysteriously disappears. In the meanwhile, if someone tries to search for Taiwan independence, or research the events concerning the Tiananmen Square massacre, they will get a convenient reroute. All of the search results that they will get in the end are going to support the Communist Party. This is what they call the Great Firewall of China.
Much like Iran, Syria is very strict about what you can and can’t say online. If a blogger ‘jeopardizes national unity’, they will immediately go to prison.
If you are accessing the internet in a cyber cafe, you will have to provide identification. Also, the cafe itself has to record the time of use, and all of this info must go to the government for analysis.
The same situation awaits anyone who wants to work as a blogger in Tunisia. All of your information, including your IP, as well as personal details, must go to the government. There is also a central network, and all traffic has to go through it.
Also, every bit of content that someone uploads, as well as emails, are under surveillance, and constant monitoring.
Vietnam is also very much afraid of critical thinking, especially when someone focuses on the government. All websites with such content are under restrictions and bans, as well as those that support democracy, religious freedom, and even human rights.
The ruling Communist Party even forces companies like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to divulge all data belonging to those who use these platforms.
There is only one ISP in Turkmenistan, and that is the government itself. It monitors email accounts of all companies and also isn’t shy of blocking whatever website they perceive as a threat. Anything that speaks against the government, or works on enlightening the people, even for a bit, gets a ban.
As you can see, a lot of countries around the world have much bigger issues when it comes to the internet than not being able to access one particular show on Netflix. Many countries barely allow the internet in the first place, and even if they do, it is under so much censorship that it is basically fake.
Online freedom doesn’t even exist as a concept in these countries, but the use of VPN does help. The fact is that you would probably end up in jail long before accessing some of that content under restriction.