internet freedomThose of us who live and have grown up in western culture live under the false perception of the Internet being a free entity; it couldn’t be further than the truth. Internet isn’t free. It’s not just in foreign countries either. States at an increasingly large amount are keeping their eyes close on their countries domestic Internet usage, and it’s not just tyrannical governments.

Authoritarian regimes aren’t the only ones that monitor and restrict the Internet, although the restrictions are the utmost apparent in Middle Eastern countries and. As an example, Chinese Internet users seen foreign sites blocked, as well as domestic site censorship. This has become increasingly prevalent in the past few years.

China utilizes keyword filtering in order to block foreign content they consider to be politically harmful. Eluding is a possibility; however, extremely ubiquitous are the domestic controls, with censors across a large scope of Internet services, including:

Chat Rooms
Search Engine Scanning
Blogs
Others
Administrative levels also hold a large amount of censorship also. No online identity stays hidden for very long. On an almost daily basis different and new taboo terms get put on lists for which there will be no results when they’re searched for, or ones that trigger erasure or encryption of micro-blog posts.

Iran is taking things even further, holding plans to ban and block all Internet access in favor of an intranet instead held domestically. Officials in Iran have stated that this is something that will stop spying and cyber-attacks from foreign countries. In truth, they’d do it to enable surveillance online, specifically focusing on those that are critics of the regime. Human rights campaigners already accuse Tehran of monitoring and filtering Internet traffic. They are far from the only Middle Eastern country to block unauthorized sites and filter content.

The industrialized realm isn’t beyond Internet monitoring either. As an example, the government in Australia has proposed a system that would filter and blacklist certain:

Domain Names
Websites
Web Addresses
Commercially, European telecoms are often under throttling accusations. Throttling is the restriction of Internet speed to instant messaging (IM) apps. An example would be Skype, however, it includes anything that would threaten their (the carriers) core tenets of business, voice traffic.

Finally, large tech enterprises aren’t exempt from such actions, as many of them create “barriers” around proprietary devices and applications. Apple is one such example, which recently stated they’d be cutting their rivals (Google) YouTube, mapping services and video sharing from the list of applications they preload onto their devices.

Increasing control both in developed countries and others shows one thing to be true, increasing control shows a free Internet is nothing more than a myth.

Increasing Control and the Myth of a Free Internet

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