While some global citizens worry about their privacy when connecting to the internet, others are blocked by their government from accessing certain websites, if not the internet completely. The idea of freedom of speech isn’t just about what you say, but it also applies to what information can be disseminated.
Many people rightfully object to information being kept from them. Many nations in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, have strict laws about what its citizens can access on the internet. VPN providers for UAE can help gain access to those forbidden sites.
Why Do Countries Limit Internet Access?
Studies from 2016 show that two-thirds of global citizens have their internet restricted by the government. The restrictions can include popular social media sites, meant to prevent individuals from posting anti-government information. In other instances, internet users are clandestinely or openly inundated with pro-government propaganda.
Many countries that want to limit access to the internet are under the rule of dictators who fear its citizens will band together and overthrow their leadership. These concerns are valid, as social media is credited in the uprisings in the last several years.
The censored content isn’t always related to the actions or interests of the government. China, for example, blocks the popular search engine, Google. Instead of giving in and allowing themselves to be censored, savvy internet users found ways to work around the limited or restricted access.
3 Tricks for Gaining Access
It may seem like a small thing to fight censorship, but even the smallest pebble causes a ripple. There may be other methods to circumvent the barrier but these are the 3 most common methods for fighting internet censorship:
1. Virtual private networks (VPN.)
VPNs reroute your connection to a private network with an IP address in a location without internet restrictions. Aside from fighting censorship, a VPN also provides security against the hacking that is common when using public networks.
2. The onion router, aka an encrypted browser.
Known as TOR, the browser connects through a series of encrypted volunteer computer connections before forming one unencrypted connection that is visible while hiding your identity and location.
3. Simple web proxies.
Web proxies are websites that give users access to blocked or restricted sites simply by entering in a web address. They are similar to VPNs except they are less secure. While VPNs give users security against being monitored, web proxies keep records of all online activity, which can be dangerous.
Censorship Often Has the Opposite of Its Intended Effect
Not all countries that restrict internet access do so for nefarious reasons. In many cases, the leaders may feel that they are protecting their country and its citizens. Of course, the citizens very rarely agree with that stance, though they may adhere to it.
Most people prefer autonomy and prefer to be left to make their own choices. In many cases, censorship can lead to feelings of resentment or distrust toward those in control.