What is Internet censorship?
Internet censorship is the prohibition or restriction of certain Internet resources. Internet censorship on the Internet has almost the same legal basis as the press media censorship. However, it has one main difference- the regional boundaries of the Internet network are blurred: residents of a country where some websites are prohibited can find the same content on the websites located on servers in other countries. It is very difficult to fully censor the Internet because of the very nature of the Global Network.
Should the Internet be Censored?
The question of whether censorship should be provided within countries is controversial. It is interesting that the first content restriction on the Internet was initiated not by a totalitarian government because of political rules. In fact, parents and teachers at school first started to talk about the necessity of providing online censorship in order to block offensive Internet content, which can harm children.
Internet Censorship Practice in the World
Today the number of countries trying to control the Internet traffic is increasing. While the censorship is becoming more restricted, the programs which allow the bypass of regional restrictions are becoming more popular. Let’s see which countries have the strictest Internet censorship rules, and then find out how to unblock a geo-located resource.
Internet Censorship in America
In the USA, the national Internet filtering is carried out by a number of organizations, such as schools and libraries, according to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The filtering rules vary in different states. For example, in Pennsylvania, Internet service providers apply the blocking of IP addresses at the level of the provider.
All search engines registered in the United States exclude sites with the pirated content from the search output. Moreover, the content can be banned by complaint of the rightholders.
Internet Censorship in China
There is a so-called Great Firewall of China, or the “Golden Shield”, provided by the government to filter the contents of the network and restrict access to undesirable foreign web resources. According to China Internet Censorship laws, the government controls all Internet users’ history and blocks access to the most popular international resources, including Google, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Internet Censorship in Cuba
The best censorship of the Internet is a lack of Internet! In Cuba, private users were prohibited to use the Internet until recently. Only medical employees had rights to use the Internet. The private use of the Internet appeared only in 2011. Today, there is only one Internet provider in Cuba and it is possible to access the network only in Internet cafes. Google and Bing search engines are blocked there.
Internet Censorship in North Korea
In North Korea, only government officials and some state organizations have access to the Internet. For other people, there is a closed internal network “Kvammen”. Tourists have limited access to some websites in hotels and Internet cafes.
Internet Censorship in Great Britain
British telecommunications services block access to a list of illegal sites, primarily websites with child pornography, which are monitored by the Internet Watch Foundation.
Internet Censorship in Iran
Today in Iran, like in many Islamic countries, the Internet is controlled by the government. Social networks, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, are blocked. A special Internet monitoring organization monitors the users and even blocks ways to bypass restrictions. Access to Wikipedia, YouTube, and IMDb is also forbidden.
Ways to Bypass Internet Censorship
To overcome censorship on the Internet, users access blocked resources through other permitted resources: web proxy, proxy server, anonymous networks, and web services for translating the contents of web pages by specifying the page address (i.e. Google Translate). One of the most popular ways to bypass regional and local restrictions is to use a VPN connection. In our previous article, we have shown 5 ways to unblock websites. However, if you want a reliable and easy way to get around blocked sites, we recommend that you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Learn more about a VPN or try it right now by following this link.