We are “lucky” here in the US, as we are a free country in many ways, even if those “freedoms” can come at a price. One freedom we have, is information. How amazing it is to be able to open your computer and do an internet search to get the answers you need, like them or not. There are places you can visit, and/or live, that do not have access to all of this information. I found this list on the USA Today website, on countries that are censored:
-North Korea is first on the list and should be no surprise, only about 4% of the population has the internet.
-Burma is filtered, groups that expose human rights violations or disagree with the government are blocked.
– Cuba internet is only available through government controlled “access points” and only pro-government can upload content.
-Saudi Arabia has blocked about 400,000 sites including those that discuss political, social or religious topics that are incompatible with the Islamic beliefs.
-Iran has a little more freedom, but bloggers must register at the Ministry of Art and Culture, and those expressing opposition to the mullahs who run the country are harassed and jailed.
-China has the most rigid censorship in the world, where the government filters searches, block sites, and erases “inconvenient” content.
-Syria allows bloggers, but those who “jeopardize national unity” are arrested, so cybercafes will record the identification of all customers.
-Tunisia internet service providers must report to the government IP addresses and personal information of all bloggers, and all traffic goes through a central network.
– Vietnam blocks websites critical of the government, and the Communist Party requires Yahoo, Google and Microsoft to divulge data on all bloggers who use their platforms.
– Turkmenistan only allows one Internet service provider, the government.
While we are allowed much more access then other places we often take it for granted. So the next time you look something up, be grateful you have the ability, and thankful that we have so much freedom here in the US.