The countries with the least and most web freedom

Sushree Behera

Technology is flourishing with time, and the internet is an integral part of this world of technology. The Internet is expanding each day, gathering more information, getting more advanced and adding more users under it! The number of Internet users is increasing day by day. As of 2023, almost 5.19 billion people are using the internet, which is almost 65% of the world’s population. But not everyone is lucky enough to use it freely; some are underprivileged, and the rules bind some. We will uncover some countries with the least and most web freedom. 

Countries with the least web freedom

The government of a country is responsible for controlling internet access. They consider various aspects, including political and social factors, to decide on a particular halt. Here are the countries with the least internet access:

1. North Korea

North Korea is known for their privacy and control over information. The government of North Korea has control over everything that begins with internet access or the data it holds.

Not more than a few thousand people have access to the internet but in a restricted environment. The government also censors online content and monitors citizens’ online activities.

2. China

As a leading country in population, it has a huge mass of internet users. The government of China has more control over internet content. The censor board of China reviews websites and applications before it is publicly available. 

Many foreign applications are forbidden from the use of the general public. This does not end here; as a citizen of China, your internet browsing will always be monitored by a higher authority to track your activities. 

Read also: China bans the Internet for under-18s: they will no longer be able to surf at night

3. Syria

The government of Syria is proactive towards the content of the internet. They restrict internet content and arrest people who post influential content against the government. Government intervention prevents many social media platforms and websites in this country. 

4. Iran

The Iranian government made internet access very unpredictable. The government keeps on changing the rules as the need of the hour. In notable years like 2012, 2017-18, many websites are blocked for the internet access of the general public. 

These fluctuations are mostly due to controversy, protest, or political and social reasons. Technologies like VPNs are banned in the country due to their unethical access to many websites. The good part is the government itself provided some authorities VPNs for the public. 

5. Belarus

The government rules regarding internet use have been very clear to the public since 2015. A huge population in Belarus uses the internet, but the use of VPN and Tor-like support is declared illegal. The IT team frequently monitors the browsing of the public and has arrested people for posting content critical of the government.

Countries with the most web freedom

There are countries that respect the freedom of their citizens but also take the responsibility for their protection.  Here are the countries with the most internet access:

1. Iceland

The government of Iceland is liberal towards internet users. The users have the freedom to browse safely and have access to internet support. The country is known as the world leader for their initiative towards safe access to the internet.

A true example is when the government of Iceland invested in the IT sector to boost internet strength with a fixed line connection of 100 megabytes per second. 

2. Estonia

The right to freedom towards access to resources is highly respected in Estonia. The government put special emphasis on political and social rights.

The authorities behind their tech laws promise to provide protection for online freedom. Very few websites are restricted in Estonia, apart from the restriction of the websites that spread hatred and political propaganda. 

3. Switzerland

The government of Switzerland doesn’t censor the internet materials from the public. The laws for the IT sector also provide them the freedom of privacy and internet access.

It is also a point that most of the VPN companies found Switzerland as their main hub. The VPNs based in Switzerland are promising and provide safety. 

4. Canada

Internet access in Canada is reliable, and the government has initiatives to provide this facility by maintaining affordability. The internet is a free space in Canada where users can express and browse with any filtering.

The government also has alignment with VPN companies with a set of rules and regulations but has free access to everything. 

5. Georgia

The Rose Revolution had a good impact on the internet usability of Georgia. The government has improved web freedom and accessibility for the public. The cybersecurity attacks have also decreased significantly with time. The best part is that internet access in Georgia is unrestricted and uncensored as they are protected under the legislation framework. 

Freedom to access the internet is a fundamental right, but rules are also required to safeguard this power. It is untrue that the internet has only good sides. Cybersecurity is a big concern when we think of the internet. In the future, we can expect more internet freedom, but the law should keep an eye on everything that smells fishy.

Read more: Internet access around the world: the state of the art

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