Countries that Censor the Internet 2022

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Internet Censorship Defined

Countries that censor the Internet do so in a number of ways and on different levels. There are organizations such as the Open Net Initiative and Reporters Without Borders who are among the many organizations looking for the latest trends in censorship online from different countries. Internet censorship occurs through a variety of means, including DNS tampering, IP blocking, keyword filtering, and surveillance.

In DNS tampering and IP blocking, countries are blocked from viewing websites. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and in the tech world, DNS tampering refers to the removal of domain names from a country’s list of accessible or available websites. IP blocking works the same way, where specific IPs, or device addresses, are blocked from accessing certain material. Keywords also can be filtered out of a nation’s search engines to prevent access to Internet content.

Organizations and nations that fight these tactics are fighting human rights violations and freedom of speech and oppression. It also hinders nations in times of war, which makes it a critical issue across the world today.

Open Net Initiative

The Open Net Initiative divides Internet censorship into a group of categories based on who is violation the flow of the freedom of information. However, with content being blocked, it is difficult to determine just how extensive the censorship goes.

  • Pervasive censorship: A lot of content in many categories is blocked
  • Substantial: Fewer categories of content are blocked but the filtering is heavy
  • Selective: A nation will decide on specific websites or categories to censor, child pornography may be one example and not a category that would fall into human rights oppression tactics
  • Suspected: A country behaves as if it oppresses freedom of information flow but it is difficult to detect
  • No evidence: A nation permits most if not all Internet activity

Countries That Censor the Internet

Countries that censor the Internet for political and social purposes, the key motivation human rights organizations examine, do so because they don’t want their people to talk freely, or access information that could be spoken about freely. They do this because it hinders their agendas. The organization Reporters Without Borders is one that compiles a list of the countries that censor the Internet every year.

Reporters Without Borders identifies two main categories of nations that do this. They call them Enemies of the Internet, and countries Under Surveillance. Not all levels of surveillance are the same. Under Surveillance refers to a surveillance of the people, where, in some countries, people can and do get arrested just for going online and seeing something the government doesn’t want them to look at.

In Belarus, for example, a country closely aligned with Russia, tight control of the Internet is exerted and citizens are arrested for informing each other online. Reporters Without Borders lists the following countries as Under Surveillance, or Enemies of the Internet when not listed as such:

Countries that Censor the Internet 2022

Countries that Censor the Internet 2022