Internet censorship is an enormous issue in many countries all over the world and affects millions of people. The basic need to connect to the internet and our reliance on the internet is at complete odds with internet censorship, which is why we are going to look at how to unblock censorship with a VPN. Not to worry, this is completely normal and legal (unless you live in North Korea or places like that).
Continuing, censorship is an issue on many levels both real and virtual in a lot of countries around the world. Think about what the term “civil unrest” entails. Think about where you can protest and where you cannot. Think about press freedom. There are so many ways we are censored in our lives that are both invisible and very visible. What about government surveillance? The list goes on.
One would think that our greatest and most freedom-oriented communications tool should be unhindered (that is, the World Wide Web), however, you must remember that nation-states, one-party states, and dictatorships still exist to this day both of the subtle and not-so-subtle variety. For countries or regions such as these, freedom is a ridiculous and unacceptable concept. Communication is dangerous, and civil unrest is unwanted by a state that wants order and subservience.
Censorship is destructive, because it is controversial, causes unrest, suppresses innovation, limits freedom of speech, and ultimately does not allow for a free, liberal, progressive 21st Century society. It also breeds fear, anger, violence, distrust, and much more both towards the government and among the population.
Internet censorship can be measured by analytics companies, as opposed to real-world censorship which can be a gray area. As for internet censorship, full maps exist that are released every year and visually annotate each area of censorship around the world.
Censorship affects many platforms and services that we all use daily. Most of these platforms or services are Western, so you can imagine how that would pose an issue politically speaking for anti-Western-oriented nations i.e., this is why Russia and China have their internet platforms.
The platforms affected by censorship can range from Google to Netflix, from YouTube to Twitter, even messaging services such as WhatsApp and others. Internet censorship can also block access to certain websites, news coverage platforms, and more.
Basically, if a nation’s communications regulatory service decides to censor or ban certain internet-related services, transmission, and content, it can do that with the flip of a switch. For these reasons, let’s take a look at what censorship is and how to circumvent it with tools such as a VPN, or Virtual Private Network.
What Is Censorship?
Censorship can be defined as the suppression or control of what is allowed to be published, accessed, or viewed on the internet by regulators, resulting in bans and restrictions and sometimes even arrests.
As far as which countries are the most censored in the world, it is first important to understand this: almost 60% of the world’s entire population, consisting of an estimated 5 billion people, use the internet across over 30 billion devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets and more.
Of those 5 billion people that have access to the internet, a lot of them do not have full unfettered access and rely on homegrown alternatives to the Western platforms. Some countries have never censored their internet, while changes in the world order, geopolitics, politics, and the tech world have resulted in some countries increasing censorship, or lowering it. The situation tends to vary and change over time reflecting world trends. It also depends on whether a specific app or service is being censored, or most of the “foreign” internet entry points themselves.
Some countries will, for instance, restrict things like torrenting, VPN usage and political media, porn, and social media while others will not. It is all relative.
As far as the least censored countries out there in general, these are countries such as the United States, Canada, and regions in the European Union (Iceland is very free). Eastern Europe is largely unrestricted and unmoderated as well. The USA and Canada only officially block the torrent of copyrighted material. Everything else goes. Other countries such as Estonia, Germany, and the U.K are also known for their unrestricted internet as well as the fact that they respect the privacy of internet users.
South America, for instance, is a bit different. Brazil won’t allow VoIP or messaging, Argentina and some others block political media, while in Venezuela practically everything is blocked.
Asia (especially China) and the Middle East are extremely tough on internet censorship as well.
The most restrictive countries in the world are North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and most other autocratic, one-party state or dictatorship governments.
How to Unblock Internet Censorship With a VPN
There are several ways to unblock internet censorship, but be warned, if it is illegal to do any of the below you may end up in prison if you live in some of the more extreme countries. Here is the list;
- Use a Virtual Private Network or VPN
- Use the TOR browser
- Use a hardware router VPN
- Use proxies
There is no way to get around internet censorship other than using tools like those listed above. A VPN and the TOR browser both will circumvent the internet connection and connect to a server outside of the country, meaning that if you are in a censorship zone the systems will not be able to block your access. What may happen is that the regulatory body will see that you are using a VPN, and if they manage to find your physical location or if you give away information about yourself online, you might be in trouble.
Internet censorship is always commensurate with a nation’s religious status, the way it is governed, and the political status of the country. Most top-tier subscription-based VPNs such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and SurfShark can easily circumvent censorship and unblock digital streaming, social media, and more. However, again, please remember to check if using any of the above tools is punishable by law first.
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