For many people in developed countries, it’s hard to comprehend limited, or filtered, Internet access. The idea that you couldn’t open up Facebook, or Google, or a major website because it is “restricted” is something that the majority of the world will hopefully never experience. However, for some countries, this is a harsh reality. Many governments and countries around the world have intentionally slow Internet, frequent Internet outages, and limited access to only what that specific entity wants their citizens to see. For many non-governmental organizations and humanitarian aid efforts, this is a huge problem. These citizens are ruled by corrupt leaders, and their basic rights are being restricted in numerous other ways. This list documents the countries that have the worst Internet access.
No surprise here; North Korea only allows 4% of its citizens to even access the Internet. What is available is entirely propaganda in support of the regime.
Internet censorship has lightened up greatly in Burma, but is still very prominent. Most email is under surveillance, and cyber cafes (how most people use a computer) are monitored every five minutes with screen shots. Pornography, anything to do with drinking or drugs, or ways to block censorship are all banned searches.
If you’re a government official in Cuba, congratulations! You can do pretty much whatever you want on the Internet. If you’re a citizen, you can only access the Internet via an approved “hub,” and your browser history, keyword searches, and general surveillance. The slow Internet connection is intentional as well, making it difficult to access information on virtually any site.
Although one of the United State’s closest “allies” in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has a very tightly controlled Internet. All sites that are not in support of Muslim law or belief systems are blocked, and information access sites like Wikipedia and Google are largely unavailable. Citizens are encouraged to report immoral sites that encourage non-Muslim behaviors (like porn, drinking, Christian conversion, etc.).
Iran has one of the highest numbers of Internet subscribers, with nearly 46 million citizens. However, it has been found that nearly 30% of any given websites are blocked, including major ones like Facebook, YouTube, and Google. Users are required to have an Iranian email service, and are not allowed to encrypt messages or content. The government also limits download speeds, making it easier to monitor and block something before it is available for public consumption.
Despite worldwide access to the Internet, it is crystal clear that the Internet is not just a “given right” in many places in the world. It is important to understand this because humanitarian issues do not just come up in places of war and hunger. There are small human rights infractions across the globe that fly under the radar. This is probably due to the fact that these people don’t even have access to a method of communication like the Internet, and they may not even know that they’re lacking access to a great tool. It is important to remove these censorships and restrictions in order to promote equality across the globe.
We are a small company that works directly with international telecommunications companies to spread the World Wide Web, well, worldwide. Truly, we believe that every corner of the Earth should have access to the Internet, and our goal is to shed light on the places that do not have freedom of Internet use. Read More...