Online censorship often has a political origin. Governments in countries like Iran, China, and Russia enforce their morals by blocking apps and websites that go against them. Journalists and citizens have to deal with this everyday and tourists also have to adhere to the rules of the country they are visiting. If you are on holiday in one of those countries, you might not be able to gain access to YouTube or Gmail. This can be a real hassle. Below you will find articles that help you unblock online censorship.
What is Online Censorship?
Online censorship happens when part of the internet is willingly 'hidden' from a specific group of people, usually based on their location. The most well-known form of online censorship is that enforced by countries. A government decides that its citizens shouldn't have access to specific online websites, social media, or other platforms, and ensures that those places on the internet are censored.
However, there are other kinds of censorship as well. A service, such as YouTube, might not show you certain content due to your location. Similarly, your school or job might have online restrictions in place that ensure you won't be able to access Facebook while using their Wi-Fi connection.
The articles below will tell you all about specific kinds of censorship and how you can make sure that, wherever you are in the world, you have access to a free internet.
Online Censorship in Different Countries
Many countries in the world have to deal with some form of online censorship. In some cases, the government has decided that online restrictions are necessary for the sake of national security or keeping citizens under control. This means that specific websites, services, apps, or topics of information won't be available if you search the internet for them in that country.
No matter the reasons, online censorship means that one's online freedom is limited. The ways in which this happens, are different for each country. This section will explain how restrictions on the internet have taken shape in different parts of the world. If you're looking for a safe way to get around those restrictions, check out the articles below for tips.
Censorship of Critical Journalists
Journalists are especially affected by censorship. Countries with dictatorships are often adamant to block websites that critique their regime. Luckily, there is a way to gain access to these websites anyway. For journalists, it can be a good idea to protect themselves by using a VPN and maybe even Tor to visit blocked websites and communicate with others. For their own safety, it's often best to stay anonymous. This way they can be critical of the regime without the risk of getting punished.
Censorship on Your Holiday or Business Trip
The censorship in some countries also affects tourists and international businesspeople. Those visiting China for business or pleasure will find that YouTube and Gmail aren't available there. This can be a real hassle. If you wish to unblock these apps and websites, it can be a good idea to install a VPN. This way you will be able to visit these websites while on holiday or abroad for work. This is an especially good solution for business people that want to be able to keep checking their email in China.
Censorship in Western Countries
It's not just dictatorial regimes that partake in online censorship. In fact, most countries have restrictions in place that mean you won't have complete internet freedom while within their borders. Each country has its own specific restrictions. Some might ban The Pirate Bay, for example, in an attempt to put an end to illegal downloading.
While some of these restrictions might be put in place for good reason, they still limit your online freedom. Luckily, there are ways around this. Using a VPN is by far the most efficient and safest way to not only get around geographical restrictions, but protect your online privacy and safety as well.
Online Freedom Comes with Responsibilities
The articles in this section will tell you how to get your internet freedom back when you're in a place that tries to limit it. Free access to information should be available everywhere in this day and era of the internet. However, free access to information comes with a responsibility as well. Keep in mind that you could be at risk of breaking certain laws of the country you're in. Therefore we urge you to always stay safe and act thoughtfully. Furthermore, we hope our readers use the capacities of the internet with integrity.