Internet Censorship: What You Need to Know

Internet is probably the most valuable invention of this digital age. It gave us the opportunity to connect to any corner of the world. One can initiate a search on any random topic online and avail unlimited information on the go.

But for many people, this freedom to explore the world has become the biggest threat. Within the past few years, countries like Syria, China, Cuba, Iran, and others have imposed serious controls on Internet access. Authorities say they are worried about increasing cases of cybercrime and identity theft but they are just creating strict rules to control their citizens.

What is Internet censorship?

In general terms, Internet censorship puts a restriction on the type of information that can be accessed by public online. The government organizations in a few countries are more careful in controlling access to some copyrighted information and other sensitive content.

At the beginning stage of the Internet, all the online activities were meant to be free. The prime motive was to provide freedom of speech while avoiding pre-justice to the users online. But as the system started to grow and develop, governments decided to interfere. As they say, Internet censorship these days is working towards:

  • Preventing individuals from gaining access to copyright information.
  • Block sensitive or harmful content.
  • Promote specific political ideas and particular religions.
  • Controlling cybercrime.
  • Monitoring browsing activities of people online to know about their preferences and opinions.

Some facts about Internet censorship

Within the last 3 – 5 years, censorship has revolutionized the way people could use the Internet. However, a lot of people are also fighting back. Below we have presented a few facts about Internet censorship:

  • Right after the year 2012, almost 34 countries have decided to censor the Internet in some way or another.
  • Stats reveal that 39 countries were successful in filtering content on the internet by the year 2013.
  • About 700 million people live in countries where censorship has become a major issue.
  • 19 countries on the globe have even blocked VoIP and social media platforms.

10 countries that are highly affected by Internet censorship include Iran (30 million Internet users), Cuba (2.8 million Internet users), China (564 million Internet users),  Syria (5.4 million Internet users), Ethiopia (1.3 million Internet users), Uzbekistan (10.8 million Internet users), Vietnam (35.1 million Internet users), Bahrain (1.1 million Internet users), Saudi Arabia (15.5 million Internet users) and Pakistan (44 million Internet users).

Possible ways to bypass internet censorship

As most of the Internet connections and online activities are being filtered on a country level, users are looking for some reliable methods to bypass this restriction. Well, there are few methods to bypass Internet censorship and gain access to the blocked sites.

Use a VPN to protect your browsing activities

Once you switch to a virtual private network, the system directs all your search traffic on secret lines. For example, if you are connected to a server located in Russia while exploring the Internet in Norway, the entire web traffic will be redirected through Russia. All the requests will be sent to the server based on Russia, and then the system will send relevant details to you. It happens with the help of encrypted connection so that no one can interfere with your browsing activities. Note that there are plenty of VPN service providers. Users need to be careful making the selection for the best.

  • Use Smart DNS for protection

Although this method cannot completely guarantee to work against Internet censorship, it provides options to get some opportunities for anonymous search activities. It helps users to visit blocked websites by changing your DNS. You can set a custom DNS on your system and organize your activities on the Internet.

  • Tor network

Tor works by routing web traffic over the encrypted chain of several servers (nodes)and users can access desired data by avoiding Internet censorship and geo-restrictions. Experts do not recommend using Tor to read or watch any sensitive information, as there are many risky exit nodes. However, Tor can offer reliable services to access blocked websites. The biggest disadvantage of this solution is that it slows down your Internet speed by a considerable extent. The latest version of Tor has gained huge poultry worldwide.

  • Go for proxies

It is also possible to access the various blocked websites with the help of web proxies. Proxies are expected to work the same as the VPN; however, they are not equally reliable and do not encrypt traffic. They can work with a few specific programs on your system. There are numbers of web-based proxies that users can access online to visit blocked websites.

  • SSH tunnel

They work almost the same as VPN services and can tunnel your web traffic more securely. If you are interested in accessing the blocked website without making a big investment, SSH tunnels can serve you better. They can redirect all your data over safe connections so that your activities cannot be monitored by government agencies.

Hope, these methods can help you to access your desired data. Prefer to choose the safest solution out of the potential options listed above and get started with your great browsing experience.