Online censorship is the latest battleground in the fight for freedom of information and access to unrestricted content and knowledge. Simply living in Russia means that your access to political media is restricted. However, across in Finland, only torrents are restricted.
Countries such as the UK and USA have relatively few limitations. I won’t get in to these governments demanding back-doors for ‘security’ reasons here.
It might come as more of a surprise that countries such as Japan also have few restrictions.
Online restrictions across the world
Different elements come together to determine a government’s desire to restrict access to freely available information.
First-off, the blanket ban on all internet access in North Korea is strongly linked to cutting down on its population’s knowledge of life outside of its borders.
Whereas restrictions in China, Taiwan and Vietnam are also political in nature. The same can be said of China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
In contrast, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen give religious motives for their restrictions.
Yet, the irony of the reasons provided for restricting free online access are made clear when you look elsewhere. For instance, the likes of Ghana, Armenia and Colombia are amongst the countries with the fewest online restrictions.
Online censorship countries ranked
This infographic of online censorship is based on access and then shown as worldwide ranking by country as compiled by VPNmentor.
Where the UK stands may be a surprise to some.
Online censorship infographic
Here we have a visual map of online censorship across the world. I find it interesting that there are places that share borders and yet have very different levels of access.