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The World’s Most Censored Countries: Where the World Wide Web isn’t so Wide

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 2 June 2018, 9:47 IST

The internet can be a scary place, and it’s even scarier if living in a country where internet is monitored by the government and prison is on the cards with one wrong click.

There are dozens of countries all over the world with incredibly tight internet measures, from completely blocking sites to redirecting them. These are particularly found in the Middle East, so if you’re travelling around the world, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

For example, Facebook will be a no-go in many parts of the world, while any anti-government post on social media will leave you locked up in others.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the destinations with the world’ strictest internet censorship…


Today, Qatar is a business hub within the Middle East, it’s also the second most well connected country in the Arab region. However, censorship in the country is still large, which can be an issue.

Not least, for the thousands of business people who visit each week. Political filtering is rife, while the likes of pornography, dating, sexual health and gay content is also heavily under wraps.
Many get round this with a VPN, accessing what they need to kick back while also unlocking things such as US Netflix. You can get a VPN for Qatar with a quick search online, and unblock any content you might want.

Saudi Arabia

Neighbouring Qatar also has heavily censored internet access with any websites offering opposition to the government being blocked by the authorities.

It’s estimated that over 400,000 sites are blocked by the government with any anti-authority sentiment, anti-religion or anything perceived to go against the mood of the nation being eliminated from the public eye.

North Korea

Only four percent of North Korea have access to the internet. However, the 96 percent who don’t have access aren’t missing much. Every website in the country is owned by the government, so freedom of speech is at a minimum.

That’s right, no Angry Birds here. Just pro-government content and regulations that won’t allow anything otherwise.


Such is the regime in China, any content offering anti-communism messages are diverted to pro-communism sites. The internet is incredibly strict and monitored on a daily basis, filtering searches to ensure nothing anti-China related hits the screen.

Stories discussing freedom of speech, the Dalai Lama, Tibetan independence and many more are blocked, while Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are also replaced by China’s very own versions.

First published: 2 June 2018, 9:43 IST