Online Censorship: A Global Map & Ranking of Every Country’s Internet Restrictions (Infographic)
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May. Because online censorship is constantly evolving, some of the countries’ rankings may not be entirely accurate anymore. For an update on countries’ online censorship, please see our Live Updates page.
Do you know what internet activities are illegal in your country?
Online censorship is the latest battleground in the fight for freedom of information, and every country is handling it differently. Russia restricts access to political media, while Finland – their neighbor across the border – only restricts torrents. Some countries’ rankings are obvious (we all know the UK and USA have relatively few internet restrictions), although others come as more of a surprise.
Many different elements can determine a governments’ desire to restrict access in their country. For example, the blanket ban on all internet access in North Korea is strongly related to a fear of its populous understanding life outside of the closely guarded country. China, Taiwan, and Vietnam restrict internet access for political reasons, while countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen have religious motives. Whatever the reason, it is good to know what your country’s policy is.