The Internet Was Created Equally, But It’s No Longer The Same – How Internet Censorship Functions In 2021

Internetby Mashum Mollah24 March 2021

Internet Censorship

When the Internet was first created, it was designed as a medium where users could come for free information. But as it evolved, each country has developed sets of rules to control it, and some decided users should no longer access is free and without restrictions.

This article’s purpose is to show how Internet censorship works and what you can do to avoid it if you’re traveling to a state that restricts its citizens’ access to information.

Over 70 countries worldwide practice internet censorship, and while some justify their choices, others simply limit their citizens’ access to information for no reason.

However, not only governments use this measure to prevent people from uniting and rebelling against the system, but also private organizations like Netflix and Hulu geo-restrict the content they provide because they want to personalize it according to the targeted audiences, or copyright issues force them.

No matter who issues it or its extent, Internet censorship is a huge issue the world is dealing with.

An Overview Of Internet Censorship And The Forms It Takes:

When the term Internet censorship is used, you immediately think about the measures governments take to prevent people from accessing certain online content, but the practice of prohibition is more extensive than this, and even you may use it without knowing that this is the definition for your actions.

Internet censorship has the purpose of blocking specific pieces of content, and most often, it targets foreign websites, news media, social media, torrenting, and porn.

Censorship can happen everywhere, at home, at work, with internet service providers, and on streaming platforms.

At Home –

this form of censorship is often called parental control because parents block, blacklist, and use encrypt content to keep their children safe.

They use the blacklisting practice to filter the websites their children can access or use keyword blocking to hide specific pages. Some even use firewalls to restrict the content their kids can access.

At Work

many people cannot use the Internet for personal reasons when they’re working. Organizations censor the Internet for their employees to prevent them from wasting their time with extra-curricula activities.

They don’t block only inappropriate content, but also social media platforms and retail websites to boost their workers’ productivity. Some companies use firewalls to block entire domains and websites.

It’s best not to use the office time for leisure purposes or view inappropriate content because the actions can be ground for a lawsuit. There are not a few, cases when people faced sexual harassment lawsuits because they watched pork at work.

Internet Service Provider Censorship

Internet service providers often practice censorship to limit their clients’ access to specific content. They can block lists of websites, but most countries require them to respect net neutrality and don’t favor particular organizations and their websites.

Where Internet service providers don’t have to comply with net neutrality laws, they can charge a fee for usage of bandwidth and allow some websites to load faster than their competitors. It’s an advantage some brands use when possible.

Streaming Platforms –

streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC geo-restrict their content-must comply with content agreement regulations. Each country comes with its own content requirements for the films and TV series people can watch on the platform, and the private companies cater their programs to meet them.

How Does Internet Censorship Work?

How Does Internet Censorship Work?

Because Internet censorship takes many forms, multiple methods are used to restrict online content. Depending on the purpose, the issuer picks one of the following tactics:

DNS Tampering –

cyber attackers usually use this method to access DNS records, modify them according to their needs, and then corrupt entire networks. This technique is often associated with identity theft and data breaches.

Blocking IP Addresses –

governments usually use this method to block specific IP addresses from accessing come websites. The IP address is the code of numbers that tells your Internet-connected device what page to open when you search a website. This method is also called geo-blocking or geo-location.

Filtering Keywords –

parents usually use this technique to restrict their children’s access with the help of a keyword

Filtering Packets –

firewalls are used to filter the domain names by their source IP address, protocols, network address, ports, or destination IP address.

Traffic Shaping –

Internet service providers can manage the bandwidth to allow certain websites and applications to perform to a greater degree.

Port Number Blocking –

the Internet service provider blocks traffic based on the port number and transport protocol.

Countries That Censor The Internet:

Over 70 countries around the world censor access to the Internet, and if you travel there, you must use a VPN service because it’s the only way to hide your online activity from the authorities and access the content you need. You can also pair the VPN with proxy service to bypass the ban and decrypt the data you cannot access.

Some countries with strict censorship:

Cuba –

the government monitors online activity through IP blocking, browser history, and keywords, and the citizens can access the Internet only through a limited number of access points.

Russia –

the government blocks a huge number of websites, and Vladimir Putin proposed a new law called Sovereign Internet that has the purpose to disconnect Russian people from the rest of the world.

China –

China is known for its Great Wall and the Great Firewall that controls the country’s Internet activity. It limits the number of foreign resources the citizens can access and limits even the national content they can see.

Iran –

when people want to make a website in Iran, they need permission from the Art and Culture Ministry. Also, they have to censor the content they post because if it goes against the Mullahs that control the country, they can be prosecuted and sent to jail.

But there are also countries with little or no censorship. Canada and Iceland are two examples that show that people don’t rebel against the system even if they have full access to the Internet, and they can post their opinions on political and religious matters.

The Conclusion:

The ones who can use the Internet for anything they need should call themselves lucky because many countries worldwide don’t allow their citizens this freedom.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is the man behind TheDailyNotes. He loves sharing his experiences on popular sites- Mashum Mollah, Blogstellar.com etc.

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