The internet is not as free as you may think. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to live in a liberal nation where there is no censorship on the internet yet. But this isn’t the case for people living in China where the internet gets worse every year. China has the most rigid and extensive censorship program in the world as of now. Let’s know more.
How Does China Censor The Internet?
The Chinese Government can control what its citizens see on the web using their censorship program called “The Great Firewall”. This program limits access to foreign websites completely bans most of the high-ranking foreign sites, and can also block particular keywords when they are entered in search engines. Moreover, the Golden Shield system is set up for domestic surveillance and continuously monitors the web activities of the citizens of China.
Websites Blocked In China
Some of the popular foreign websites that are blocked in China include the following:
Future Plans of China
Up till now, to access foreign websites, Chinese citizens had the option of using a VPN network which could bypass the censorship of “The Great Firewall” and allow unfettered access of any website (with some slowdowns and crashes). However, in the coming months, it is possible that China will completely block access to such virtual private networks by February 2018 as per a report by Bloomberg News. This drastic move will have serious repercussions for all the business developers and companies in China who will have a hard time sustaining themselves globally.
Other Countries That Block the Internet
China isn’t the only country that censors the internet for its citizens. Other countries that control the internet include Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Vietnam, and some more.
Why Do These Countries Censor the Internet?
Internet censorship in many countries is increasing by the day as the governments want to have a tight grip on what the citizens of the country are posting or reading on the net. The rationale behind this censorship is so that the citizens don’t indulge in any untoward religious or political debates thereby opposing their government and causing social/political unrest.
Censorship is a double-edged sword. While the absence of it may lead to chaos, using it for suppressing dissent isn’t correct either.