Top 10 Countries Censoring the Web

When the World Wide Web was created in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee (not to be confused with the Internet itself, which is the core network developed many years earlier), its main objective was to enable the free exchange of information via interlinked hypertext documents.

web censorship

Almost 20 years later, that objective has been accomplished on most parts of the world, but not in all of them. Some countries are trying hard to keep an iron hand over the flow of information that takes place on the Web. Below you will find the most controversial ones.

10. Pakistan

The rundown

Pakistan started censoring the web in 2000, when the main target was anti-Islamic content. Over the time, it seems, they liked the possibility to control the Internet traffic, and have been increasing the scope of their censorship system ever since.

How does the censorship work?

There are only three international gateways on the country, and all of them are controlled by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company. The government, therefore, is able to monitor and block most unwanted traffic using filtering software (although their technical apparatus is not sophisticated).

Internet service providers are also required by law to monitor the activity of their clients to make sure that they are not accessing prohibited websites.

What kind of content is blocked?

In the first years of the web censorship in Pakistan, the main target was anti-Islamic content and websites that were related to political autonomy movements (e.g., the Balochi one). In 2003, however, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company declared that they would also officially block all pornographic websites.

In 2006 mainstream western websites, including Wikipedia and several newspapers, got blocked as well. The intensification of the censorship was propelled by the episode of the Danish cartoons that contained images of the Prophet Muhammad.

9. Burma

The rundown

Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, is a country characterized by severe human rights problems, so it would be hard to expect an open and reliable Internet adoption. It is estimated that less than 1% of its population has access to the web, and this happens via a handful of cybercafes, and always under tight surveillance.

How does the censorship work?

Burma relies on a heavy regulatory framework to control the access to the Internet. Computers that want to access the web need to be registered with the Myanmar Posts and Telecom company, and a fee must be paid as well.

The price of the Internet connections is also prohibitive for the largest part of the population, and broadband connections are almost nonexistent among the general public.

Additionally, they also have a filtering system at the ISP level, targeting mainly independent media websites.

What kind of content is blocked?

Myanmar has an official Intranet, which is the only content available for many of its Internet users (the ones using dial-up connections). Only a small number of pre-approved websites are present there.

Free email services are also blocked, so people must use the state-owned service which is always monitored for keywords and sensitive content.

The main target of the censorship is political content that might go against the current government ideology.

8. Yemen

The rundown

The Yemen government is very hostile to the freedom of the media in general, and the Internet is no exception. Political and social issues are always under their radar, although the digital infrastructure for the censorship here is not as advanced as in some of the other countries on our list.

How does the censorship work?

The underdeveloped telecom infrastructure on the country acts as a natural obstacle to the free flow of information over the Internet. Just like Burma, less than 1% of Yemen’s popular can access the Internet.

The ones who are able to pay for an Internet subscription face severe limitations nevertheless. Service providers often prohibit the access to audio and video content, for example, because it would put an excessive load on their network.

The largest ISP on the country, controlled by the government, also makes use of content filtering software to block specific types of websites. It is interesting to note that they only have a limited number of user licenses for the software, and if many people connect at the same time, some will get an unfiltered version of the web!

What kind of content is blocked?

The censorship in Yemen is concerned mainly with blocking websites and material attacking the Yemeni revolution and it is political regimen.

Additionally, any website publishing anti-Islamic and pornographic content is also blocked on most Internet connections.

7. North Korea

The rundown

North Korea has managed to accomplish a really tough task given our time: they kept the Internet outside of the country borders! For a country that has no independent media at all, however, it makes sense.

How does the censorship work?

Basically there is no Internet in North Korea. No servers. No service providers. Nothing. Zip.

Only a handful elite members of the government have an Internet connection, and they have it via a satellite link that is connected with German servers.

Part of the population is trying to escape this iron curtain by using 3G mobile phones and Chinese connections. This is not an effective solution, though, and even when it works the users would be subject to the Chinese censorship on the other end….

What kind of content is blocked?

Everything. North Korea didn’t even have a top level domain extension until a while ago. Now they do, and there are two websites registered on it. Both governmental….

Truth be told, they do have an Intranet which is accessible to a tiny part of the population. Those amount to 50 or so web pages, however, and they are filled with content proclaiming the wonders of Kim Jung Il and his political ideals.

6. Syria

The rundown

The Syrian government admits that it automatically blocks websites with pornographic content and with politically sensitive information. In reality the situation is much worse, and many journalists from around the world consider Syria to be one of the most repressive countries as far as the Internet is concerned.

How does the censorship work?

Syria’s first barrier to the information coming via the web are the social-economic problems of the country. It is estimated that less than 2% of the whole population subscribe to Internet services.

On top of that, they also exert a strong control over all the Internet Service Provides. Crazy as it sounds, Internet users there are only allowed to use the the port 80 (i.e., the one used by your browser).

If you want to use other types of connections you need to have an authorization and pay a fee. Want to setup a website and upload your files via FTP? Perhaps use Skype for VoIP? Forget it!

What kind of content is blocked?

Any topic criticizing the current political ideology is heavily targeted by the censors. Additionally, religious and pornographic content gets blocked at ISP level.

Syrya also blocks some mainstream websites like Hotmail, and there are reports that many blogs hosted on free services like Blogger were blocked in the past.

5. Cuba

The rundown

The Reporters Without Borders organization considers Cuba “one of the world’s 10 most repressive countries” when it comes to online content.

The local access to the Internet is so controlled, and the punishment to dissent so severe, that they managed to create a state of self-censorship, where people don’t even try to access prohibited material out of fear.

How does the censorship work?

The Cuban government owns all the Internet Service Providers in the country, so they have access to all the traffic that goes around. By employing a filtering software, they are able to block sensitive information.

Both websites and email messages get controlled before people can have access to them.

If that was not enough, the economic and social problems on the country make it generally difficult for anyone to have access to the Internet in the first place. The sales of personal computers used to be illegal on the country until some months ago for example.

What kind of content is blocked?

The main target of the Cuban censorship is political content that is against its socialist ideology.

In 1996 they already had a law banning from the Internet any material “in violation of Cuban society’s moral principles or the country’s laws.”

4. United Arab Emirates

The rundown

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most connected countries in the Middle East. Despite that fact, the country tries to control heavily the flow of information on the web. Virtually any website containing ideas or information that goes against the political, moral or religious values of the country is blocked.

How does the censorship work?

All the telephone and Internet services used to be provided by the state-owned company Etisalat. In 2006 The United Arab Emirates started liberalizing the telecommunications market, but they still have a strong hand on it.

They are therefore able to control and filter most of the Internet traffic. Curiously enough, in 2002 a survey found out that 60% of the Internet subscribers approved the filtering of online content at ISP level.

What kind of content is blocked?

The United Arab Emirates is concerned with protecting the moral and religious values of the country mainly.

As such, they extensively filter websites that contain pornography, that are related to alcohol and drug use, gay and lesbian issues, online dating and gambling.

3. Saudi Arabia

The rundown

Saudi Arabia introduced the Internet on its country many years after other Arab countries, exactly because they didn’t know how they would be able to control the content. Today they have a complex censorship system in place, and they even have laws criminalizing the access to websites that violate Saudi laws or Islamic values.

How does the censorship work?

The censorship is carried by the Internet Service Unit (ISU), which controls all the gateways of the Internet Service Providers on the country.

There is basically no Internet specific law on Saudi Arabia, so it falls under the press law, which states that the all publications need to have a governmental approval before publishing anything (i.e., they can shut pretty much anything down at will).

The technical part of the censorship is handled with the SmartFilter software.

What kind of content is blocked?

The Saudi Arabia government states that is blocks around 400,000 websites from around the world. Their main target anti-Islamic content, although pornography, gambling and women rights are also usually restricted

2. Iran

The rundown

The censorship of the web in Iran started several years ago, and today they are one of the most efficient countries on this respect. The target? All non-Islamic websites, making Iran probably the country with the most extensive web censorship in the world.

How does the censorship work?

Iran has an advanced semantic filtering system in place that identifies specific keywords and terms. Working parallel with this system they have an official committee that is responsible for identifying and reporting any website that violates the Iranian laws and regulations.

The government is also trying to slow down, and sometimes even to ban the spread of broadband Internet connections on the country.

The objective is to “protect” its citizens from western cultural influences (e.g. music, video and movies).

What kind of content is blocked?

In 2006 the Iranian government was already blocking the access to several popular western websites, including YouTube, Amazon and Wikipedia.

Today, anything that contains sex, politics and religion is not allowed. The number of blocked websites is estimated at over 10 million.

There are actual laws that require the media and online content providers to produce material goes promotes the state objectives and the Islamic culture as a whole.

Over 100 print and online publications have been shut down in the past for not complying with those laws.

1. China

The rundown

If you think that The Great Wall of China was already an incredible thing, you should take a look at what critics from around the world call “The Great Firewall of China.” China has undoubtedly the most sophisticated censorship system in the world.

In the past they have been able to block all sorts of unfriendly websites, and even to silence movements like the pro-Tibet protest as if they never existed.

And don’t think that only small bloggers are subject to China’s power. Even the almighty Google was forced to cooperate by creating a censored version of its search engine to be used by the Chinese.

How does the censorship work?

The Great Firewall of China, contrary to other censorship systems, is decentralized and flexible. They don’t target whole domain extensions (i.e. .com or .us) or specific types of websites (i.e. pornographic websites), but rather keywords.

In order to accomplish the herculean task of monitoring what the 220 million Chinese Internet users are doing, they have one of the biggest network of servers in the world, and a human task force that is estimated at over 30,000 heads.

The government also monitors closely the activity of Internet service provides and Internet cafes. Over the last couple of years over 2,000 Internet cafes were indeed closed, and very few of them were able to re-open.

What kind of content is blocked?

Politically sensitive content is the main target of the censorship in China. Hot topics include Tibet, Taiwan and Tiananmen. Many western content portals like BBC and Voice of America, for instance, are blocked by Chinese ISPs.

Pornography and terrorism related websites are also blocked.

Apart from blocking websites and restricting the access to specific types of websites, however, the Chinese government also invests a lot of money to promote the state-owned websites and to use the Internet as a propaganda vehicle.

Bonus: Australia

The rundown
Discovering that countries like Iran or Yemen are censoring the web is not a big surprise. Most forms of independent media are already restricted there, and their levels of human rights are among the lowest in the world.

But what if we told you that Australia, one of the richest countries in the world, is also trying to censor websites inside its borders? Now that is scary!

How does the censorship work?

In 2007 a bill passed giving the federal police the power to block the access to any website. They already had a filtering system is place, but it was very limited in scope.

Many privacy groups and critics from the around the world claimed that this decision will directly threaten the freedom of speech on the Australian web.

What kind of content is blocked?

The government claimed that the police will be blocking mainly phishing and terrorism related websites. The problem is that the law brings a much broader definition for the potential targets: basically they can block any content that encourages, incites or facilitates criminal activity.

Some of the facts provided on this article come from the Internet Enemies section of the Reporters Without Borders site, and from the Access Denied report from the OpenNet Initiative. We recommend that you visit them for more information on web censorship in general.

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90 Responses to “Top 10 Countries Censoring the Web”

  1. Noticias Automotivas on October 28th, 2008 8:13 pm

    very interesting list, i am glad that here in Brazil we dont have censorship on the internet!

  2. Richard on October 28th, 2008 11:53 pm

    What about Australia?

  3. Gretchen on October 29th, 2008 1:23 am

    I am completely unsurprised by the fact that China is listed as number one on this list! My son has been there for six months now and cannot access more than half of what I send to him. It was far worse during the Olympics, big surprise, eh?

  4. SeattleGuy on October 29th, 2008 1:41 am

    Is this list accurate and up to date?

    I know that in Cuba PCs have been on sale at relatively modest prices for the past year or so. I was taken to understand that the restrictions imposed by Fidel have become more lax under Raul. And that the laxness passed over to the ‘net access as well.

    Am I misinformed?

  5. faruk on October 29th, 2008 1:59 am

    we have been having a problem,thought not serious, for some time. access to youtube is forbidden in turkey. yes, i am talking about the prohibition of just one website but if you consider that Turkey is a country that has been trying to join the EU,it makes sense….surely it does…

  6. faruk on October 29th, 2008 2:02 am

    another weird problem is that you cannot acces to some of the pornoghrapic pages but you can try another one and enjoy….. now one cannot help asking: if you cannot ban all of the pornoghrapic pages,why deal with a few one….waste of time because for a porn addict pussy is pussy.it does not matter in wgich page he’s gonna watch it…

  7. Rajaie AlKorani on October 29th, 2008 3:09 am

    “Want to setup a website and upload your files via FTP? Perhaps use Skype for VoIP? Forget it!”

    I gotta disagree with that. I go to Syria every year for my summer vacation and can upload files and use Skype perfectly.

    Just wanted to let you know… ;)

  8. Rajaie AlKorani on October 29th, 2008 3:13 am

    @faruk, obviously they won’t be able to block every single pornographic site on the web, but they do their best…

  9. keef on October 29th, 2008 3:32 am

    Thanks for this post. It is a reminder of how good we have it here. To bad the retards who run around saying we are some imperialistic, fascist nation will never get it.

  10. D-chi on October 29th, 2008 3:39 am

    That is ridiculous.
    I mean, I understand the pr0n block, but seriously. Freedom of speech is the hotness.

  11. ROW on October 29th, 2008 3:56 am

    Interesting read. There seems to be a direct relation between info censorship and country development (atleast for top 10-5).

  12. Shoban on October 29th, 2008 4:22 am

    I used to complain that my internet connection is very slow sometimes!!! Lokking at the above situation!! I am happy to live in India ;-)

    I can live with slow connection sometimes ;-) No problem! Also if you notice violence, terrorism is very less in most of the coutries above! Is Internet the root fo all evil? :)

  13. Jon on October 29th, 2008 4:23 am

    Tunisia, majorly censors the internet. I was there this summer. Youtube is blocked, and nothing that says anything bad about their worthless president can be said, or the site gets blocked. (the president has won elections by 99.5% of the vote for the past 25 years…fishy)

  14. Demifantasy on October 29th, 2008 4:28 am

    Thank you for your information! Did you do any research in Vietnam?

  15. Jon on October 29th, 2008 4:30 am

    No, nothing in vietnam, I was over in Tunisia for the summer working on a robotics design. Forgot to mention that porn is blocked over there too.

  16. dude on October 29th, 2008 5:23 am

    dude, that’s harsh!

  17. Ajith Edassery on October 29th, 2008 6:04 am

    Sometimes some kind of curb is required especially when terrorism related activities need monitoring. Not surprisingly all the above countries are run either by religious fanatics, extremists or communists. Basically they don’t want their people to be aware of human rights and learn about life in other places.

    Thank god I am from India, that is the biggest democratic nation – not that everything is great about it :)

    Cheers,
    Ajith

  18. Wiep on October 29th, 2008 7:34 am
  19. TheAnand on October 29th, 2008 8:44 am

    That is so hopeless. I nevr knew that pakistan was supressing the internet too. poor fellow bloggers from these countries.

  20. mr.potato on October 29th, 2008 9:00 am

    I don’t know about other countries, but I know for certain that the information on Syria is outdated.

    I am using Skype to contact people living in Syria almost daily – no problems there.

    I also visited some time ago, lived in a private house and I had no problems using my laptop and the internet at all – no reconfiguration of ports, no proxy setting.

  21. sam on October 29th, 2008 11:49 am

    Strange that Tunisia does not figure on the list. It’s much more repressive than few listed here

  22. Ant on October 29th, 2008 12:45 pm

    Absolutely fascinating post. Too bad for us that some of the biggest potential markets in the world are being blocked from full internet access.

  23. Peter on October 29th, 2008 12:53 pm

    Very well-researched article!
    North Korea was planning to open it up to the Internet starting in 2009, but now with Mr. Kim’s health problem, I’m not sure how well it’s gonna be coming along..

  24. Angel Cuala on October 29th, 2008 2:09 pm

    I am still glad to realize that although my country belongs to the third world countries, we will have our freedom.

    About China, would that mean Baidu dot Com is not that reliable when we submit our blog there?

  25. Destination Infinity on October 29th, 2008 2:19 pm

    Bhutan, could be added too, I guess. They have restrictive policies about TV, Internet etc. But recently, they have opened up.

    We do some Corporate Security assignments and I wonder how such things could be replicated on a national level! Monitoring a single companies web activities in itself requires a lot of effort! But in that perspective, we should congratulate China!

    Destination Infinity

  26. huckle on October 29th, 2008 10:06 pm

    You missed the UK.

  27. Sohail on October 30th, 2008 12:35 am

    Fantastic article. So most of them filter sites because of religion, political reasons and to stop anti-state activities. Can be justified in some cases but most of the time its nothing that government can justify

  28. Engin on October 30th, 2008 8:40 am

    Please add Turkey to the list.
    Since 1 year over thousand web sites has been censored. Including youtube.com, blogspot.com and video.google.com.

  29. Aamir on October 30th, 2008 9:18 am

    Thanks for your good article. I’m from Iran and I should add something concerning your post: Amazon and Wikipedia are not filtered. OfCourse they blocked these sites beside IMDB for 2 days, but after a strong protest of Internet users against this action, they retreated and said that it was a technical problem!
    And yes it is true; ISPs are officially banned from providing Home users a Hi speed connection higher than 128 Kbps dure to the fact that they can not restrict the net when users are applying Proxy softwares.
    In addition to websites you mentioned, most of social networking sites like Facebook,orkut ,cloob (an Iranian one) ,… are filtered and day by day, more and more photography sites (eg, photo.net) are being blocked. I , as a blogger cannot be sure if tomorrow my blog would be a prohibited one, and If it is to be, I have no choice but opening another blog, hoping they don’t restrict access to the host itself! (Like a couple of months ago that noone in Iran could reach their wordpress dashboard from its routine way, ie. logging to WP!)
    Sorry for being too talkative.

  30. raza on October 30th, 2008 10:46 am

    @Ajith, “that is the biggest democratic nation” even if it is the biggest deocratic natoin there are many sites you still can’t enter due to political rivery. Update urself!

  31. raza on October 30th, 2008 10:48 am

    @Ajith, even if it is the biggest deocratic natoin there are many sites you still can’t enter due to political rivery. Update urself!

  32. Simon on October 31st, 2008 10:12 am

    What’s a blocked website look like?

    I’m in Australia and have never ever not been able to load any page the I wish, so in my opinion I don’t think Australia really deserves to be on the list

  33. Michael on October 31st, 2008 11:14 am

    A cautionary tale for my fellow “Don’t confuse me with the facts” Americans who are about to cast their ballots for “President Palin”.

  34. Affan Laghari on October 31st, 2008 6:11 pm

    If Saudi Arabia blocks some content, that’s because the laws there say so. Germany also blocks some adult websites from appearing in Google results (that’s the law there). Sorry but if you claim to look at things from an international perspective, you need to respect laws of each place (not just western countries). If I make a hate-based pro-Hitler website which speaks against the Holocaust, several European nations will turn against me. May even send me to jail if I publish such a book. And what if I make a site on ‘How to make dynamite’. Would it be justified if the US government blocks it? Oh, but why? Dynamite can also be used in construction industry. People just don’t think this as unjust because you all grew up with the Holocaust theory and the like in your minds.

    If you read Wikipedia’s rules, you will see that it clearly says it is based in a certain US state, and it goes on to say that if the State Laws stop Wikipedia from publishing something, then Wikipedia will abide by the laws and would remove that content.
    And western governments also block some content like pornographic material depicting girls under 18 years. That’s because the laws in western countries dictate that. If a few countries allowed pornographic depiction of under 18 girls, would that make USA and Europe lift this ban? NO (and it shouldn’t).

    It’s not about non-western nations like you imply, nor about Islam or communism, it’s about perception, culture, and laws. I live in Pakistan and would feel totally OK if pornographic sites are banned here (NO, they aren’t currently) because that’s the culture here.

  35. Censored on November 2nd, 2008 12:04 am

    What about Turkey!! it should be in Top Ten list.

  36. brad.storch on November 2nd, 2008 3:32 pm

    It’s sickening to see what’s happening in Australia. Australians should fight back and get rid of the politicians wasting your money and freedoms! Whenever somebody questions it they say “So you want to look at child porn” or some faulty logic like that. Be free Australia!!

  37. Pacita on November 3rd, 2008 3:00 am

    Thank you for the very interesting article. I am glad that I live in USA where freedom of speech is practiced. Sure, there are some sites I wish they are banned, but everyone has the choice to view/read those sites or not. With freedom comes responsibility – by the people and not by the government.

  38. mati on November 3rd, 2008 9:35 am

    Australia? wow i don’t know it’s

  39. fincan on November 4th, 2008 12:20 am

    for turkey

    + groups.google.com

  40. Marc on November 5th, 2008 10:15 am

    Check out the censorship of your own country: try to go to the site(s) of Kim Schmitz.
    E.g.: http://www.kimble.org
    or
    http://www.kimpire.com/

    My own country (and many other European) block access to his site(s) because he is considered a fraud, a criminal and a self-proclaimed hacker but also an excentric German billionaire with a passion for illegal streetracing.
    His best known escapades were seen during the Gumball 3000 rally. During, he crashed his +€250.000 Mercedes and continued with his second, identical car he had in the race (for “just in case”).
    He also hit a woman crossing the street and instead of helping her out, he started filming her with his cell phone.

    This is the Wiki page of the guy in question:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Schmitz
    His racing made it to Belgian national news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYWCYMedpZQ

    All in all, his websites are all blocked in most Western countries, meaning that there IS censorship close to where YOU live ;-)

  41. yogesh kulkarni on November 5th, 2008 12:53 pm

    India Rulezz……Democracy Rocksz

  42. hmmm on November 6th, 2008 10:15 am

    Hi,
    Please add turkey in first place ..

  43. web design company on November 7th, 2008 4:32 pm

    tumbl – Almost 20 years later, that objective has been accomplished on most parts of the world, but not in all of them. Some countries are trying hard to keep an iron hand over the flow of information that takes place on the Web. Below you will find the most controversial ones.

  44. Babak on November 8th, 2008 3:39 pm

    I’m blogging from Iran, You can’t imagine how hard is it.
    sorry , but we are doing the hard work not you.
    Just if I were there….

  45. james rajeev on November 9th, 2008 11:17 am

    yogesh kulta wht democracy do you talk about our indian goverment has failed to provide basic human necessities: the infamous ‘bread, clothing and shelter’ promised loudly but never delivered, everyone give a s#%t to india!!!! and i as indian also!

  46. marco sosa on November 9th, 2008 6:59 pm

    Qatar must be like in the 8 or 7.

  47. Saurabh on November 10th, 2008 3:51 pm

    Check out the censorship of your own country: try to go to the site(s) of Kim Schmitz.
    E.g.: http://www.kimble.org
    or
    http://www.kimpire.com/

    went to the above site and not sure if it’s blocked or some technical problem or Firefox thing. The page just doesn’t show. It’s connecting to the site’s server but not showing up on my browser.

    And Indian politicians sucks BUT India Rules…

  48. blamdigger on November 11th, 2008 12:55 am

    The plans for Australia are a disgrace. It’s sickening.

    Find out how you can fight it here: http://www.nocleanfeed.com/

  49. Marc on November 12th, 2008 2:26 pm

    @ Saurabh

    That means that it’s “silently” blocked. Nothing wrong with your browser there.
    Your first experience with censorship I presume? :-)

  50. revomotor on November 18th, 2008 10:11 pm

    how good you have it? but who thinks of the truth here… if it was not for usa and military complex making the internet there would be no repression on this because this would not be here to repress!!! so who is the blame to fall on?

  51. Cdah on November 20th, 2008 1:52 pm

    @ Revomotor

    Yes, and if nobody made guns, no body would get shot.

    And if Christopher Columbus hadn’t founded america, then there wouldn’t have been 9/11!

    People aren’t pointing fingers in the right places.

  52. sage on November 24th, 2008 9:27 pm

    > Crazy as it sounds, Internet users there are only allowed to use the the port 80 (i.e., the one used by your browser).

    Port 80 is pretty useless without port 53.

  53. Steve on November 25th, 2008 4:21 am

    I can’t remember the paper’s name or the conference it was from, but researchers looked into the great firewall of china and tested its limits. What they discovered was that it was more or less a panopticon. A pcworld article about it is here.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/137143/great_firewall_of_china_urges_selfcensorship.html

  54. mha on December 27th, 2008 1:30 pm

    I went on youtibe in Iran in ’07, I think I also got hold of some “western” music aswell as checking my gmail. So yeh, this article is slightly wrong.

  55. Free Speech Advocate on January 3rd, 2009 6:03 pm

    Canada should have made the list. People have been jailed, charged and fined for speaking their minds in Canada via the Internet.

    Check out http://RichardWarman.com for information about Canada’s biggest threat to free speech on the Internet.

  56. Lesley Dewar on January 7th, 2009 1:17 pm

    http://notallpoppies.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/caution-nudity-included-here/

    I have put this link on my blog to demonstrate the absolute absurdity of the Australian Government’s Clean Feed.

    Under their rules – the material I have sourced would make that site banned. Go have a look, a laugh and then call your Federal Politician and tell him that it is censorship of the worst kind and we will not tolerate it.

  57. yell on February 21st, 2009 10:25 am

    dont forget to add germany and france. those countries filter websites about the holocaust.

  58. Kim Piader on March 14th, 2009 8:03 pm

    Check out the censorship of your own country: try to go to the site(s) of Kim Schmitz.
    E.g.: http://www.kimble.org
    or
    http://www.kimpire.com/

    Very interesting. Now I know what is going on when I get a white screen.

  59. Murat Bilga on March 27th, 2009 12:39 pm

    Strange that Turkey does not figure on the list. It’s much more repressive than few listed here

  60. Talkhaba on April 14th, 2009 4:26 pm

    In recent past the government in pakistan had blocked the sites and blogs showing picture of Governer of Punjab province Mr Taseer, who has been one of the most controvercial political figures of pakistan. He is consider an agent of CIA.

  61. Albert on April 14th, 2009 6:55 pm

    Always bring some **** with you when you go to china =)

  62. Albert on May 18th, 2009 2:25 am

    always bring some porn with you when you go to china. =)

  63. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on December 26th, 2009 11:37 am

    Notice that most of these countries are Islamic. These are the same people that want to place the entire world under Sharia law. This means everyone will be censored all the time.

    Keep in mind their rallying cry is “Kill the infidels!” In other words, Convert or die!

    Australia is a very great disappointment, too. My plans to make an extended vist there are canceled. In no way will I ever support censorship of any kind. That includes the religious reich in the USA, too.

  64. Kathy on March 28th, 2010 11:53 pm

    Why are India and So Korea not listed?

  65. shiitakemushroom on July 19th, 2010 9:12 pm

    The US have recently been doing tests and experiments with regards to censorship of the internet. They already take down most things that criticize obama if they are popular enough.

  66. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on July 20th, 2010 12:39 pm

    shiitakemushroom, Exactly what has been “taken down”? I think you are a lair and want to say anything to bring attention to yourself. Either prove your statements or STFU!

    I do suspect any government of at least attempting censorship, bt I would have proof before I said something as stupid as you do.

  67. sam pierce on July 22nd, 2010 9:15 pm

    I am shocked to find out the top 10 countries censored on websites and other web content. The religious issue is on the other hand, but they don’t censored the political websites and blogs. This is place where people can share any thing they are facing. They also can say against the government if some of there decisions are not good.

  68. türkü on August 18th, 2010 5:00 pm

    turkey is ban land… :(

  69. Denver Bars on September 7th, 2010 11:51 pm

    Banning for the political reasons is really bad. however there should be monitoring over content provoking hate and racism

  70. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on September 8th, 2010 10:58 am

    All governments are restrictive because that is the easiest way for them to increase their power. Some will allow easy access to porn because it gives them the appearance of being open and free and distracts people from the other things they are doing.

    Other governments will try to restrict access to political or dissenting sites in the guise of “public safety”. But even the most “free” and “open” governments will overtly or covertly attempt to suppress anything they see as a threat to their control and power.

  71. business do not call register on February 28th, 2011 4:23 pm

    thanks for posting such a nice info. i will bookmark this post.

  72. Jesse on April 1st, 2011 8:08 am

    Web host are just as guilty of censorship as any government. I have found very few web hosts which actually allow free speech on the sites they host.

  73. sanaz on June 15th, 2011 3:17 pm

    I m from iran great limitation in all kind of freedom when we search sth in google, 9 of each 10 sites blocked
    iran and china are most abhorrent and loathing countries in world .
    in fact islam and Communist are humans disaster

  74. Daisy Russell on August 18th, 2011 4:40 am

    Lol… thank god I did not see my country in this list… lol…
    handcrafted jewelry

  75. Noticia Automotiva on November 8th, 2011 2:00 pm

    oh gosh, thx to live in Brazil, we don’t have censorship!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  76. Area51Visitor on November 28th, 2011 6:13 am

    Censorship is simply a means to an end; a back door to the change corporations would prefer be made. Ultimately corporations, governments, libraries, those who maintain the servers, and so on will shift the net so that any part of it will require payment. It will start out with corporations trying to slip past the people simple laws (by paying lobbyists and politicians) that will require more consumer involvement. If I were to conspire further, I’d say even planting large-scale crime to persuade the people of the laws necessity. For example, passing a law as small as requiring a credit card to prove your over 18 to simply type in a “www.com” address could easily become a requirement had the right crime, or series of crimes occur via the internet the people did not like; mass-child trafficking, large scale prostitution rings, massmurders for example.

    Some might argue that wouldn’t happen. People wouldn’t pay for simply typing in one http://www.com address and therefor wouldn’t pass the law. Those people forget we’ve done that in the past. Current laws exist to support our old habits (making alternative, better solutions more expensive), such as using gasoline cars for every day commutes, though we have alternatives that, having placed the taxes in the right place, and deductions in others, would be more practical. These people still burn coal when coal depletes and pollutes, when power by sun, and wind, and water is forever, and the same people who consume inorganic food, made from foreign factories, when organic foods are grown next door. Who are those people: all of us.

  77. shima on December 18th, 2011 12:46 am

    I come from Iran . some website were censored by government for political and religious reason.I think government shouldnt censore politic site if they claim freedom speech!!!
    but some sites in question religious therefor they should be censored

  78. Bruce @ Donation pickup on January 16th, 2012 12:12 pm

    Very interesting read. It make sense that Australia blocks any site that is related or promote terrorism.

    keep up the good work :)
    Bruce

  79. Sagar on February 17th, 2012 12:40 am

    I am happy that Nepal did not make to the top 10. But I see it climbing. They have tried to block some common porn sites. And the “revolutionary” prime minister is already criticizing facebook and twitter saying that they publish contents “that could incite inter-ethnic clashes”. His concerns to prevent them could be laudable, but censoring the internet is the solution.

  80. carros on May 9th, 2012 9:39 pm

    Web host are just as guilty of censorship as any government. I have found very few web hosts which actually allow free speech on the sites they host.

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