It is one of the tools used by governments to filter out unwanted information and to prevent the spread through the World Wide Web. It is a phenomenon of staggering proportions that affects over 25% of the global population.
According to the latest data released on OpenNet Initiative and Reporters Without Borders 12 are the countries which have adopted a form of Internet censorship at a pervasive or substantial level. China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people and 360 million active users of the Internet is by far the nation in which the censors’ activity affects the highest number of citizens, followed in their list by Iran, Vietnam and Egypt.
It is striking to note that based on these figures, approximately 1.72 billion people are affected by the Internet censorship: a significant information which corresponds to 25.3% of the planet population estimated to be 6.79 billion people.
Moreover, in many cases, the censorship is not limited to filter the information accessible via the web but it also becomes a tool used by governments to fight their opponents. As reported byReporters Without Borders China, Vietnam, Iran, Syria, Egypt and Burma (Myanmar) are the countries in which censorship is applied as a form of repression. China leads these sad standings with 72 netizens imprisoned, followed by Vietnam (17) and Iran (13), Syria (4) Egypt and Burma (2).
No data is available for North Korea.
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