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We’re living in the Information Age. Today, you can connect with anyone virtually anywhere in the world, instantly. The Internet is a vehicle for everything from news, commerce, entertainment, communication, and more. When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, he insisted it be released as free technology that anyone could have access to and use with no patent or royalties due. It was his gift to mankind.
Today, Berners-Lee’s vision and the very fabric of the Internet itself are being threatened. Many countries around the world now censor and even ban certain websites they believe their citizens shouldn’t have access to. The reasons range from political to moral and even religious but many believe Internet censorship and Internet surveillance are a dangerous step in the wrong direction. Of course, there are many types of Internet censorship and surveillance, some more intrusive than others.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a select few oppressive countries that engage in censorship and Internet surveillance. Countries all over the world have these types of programs set up and they do so for a variety of reasons. For example, government Internet surveillance is a often a necessary strategy for intelligence and national security agencies. The use of these strategies in the United States made worldwide headlines in 2013 when whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked the questionable activities of the NSA to the media.
This map and data visualization reveals which countries are the worst-rated for censorship and surveillance around the world to give you a clear view of how some policies stack up against others. Additionally, we’ve marked which countries have been identified as “Enemies of the Internet” by the international organization Reporters Without Borders. Where does your country fall on the list?