Mapping Internet Censorship Worldwide [INFOGRAPHIC] 2016

Mapping Internet Censorship Worldwide [INFOGRAPHIC] 2016

For better or for worse, the Internet is something that most of us take for granted. Our users in the US and Western Europe generally subscribe to VPN.Express to customize their experience on the web whereas our users in China or South Africa for example may choose to use VPN.Express to access sites that have been blocked by their country’s government. Read the full story on worldwide internet censorship!

Internet Censorship Mapped

Mapping Internet censorship worldwide can be a tedious task, and we applaud the folks at WhoIsHostingThis? for their impressive effort in creating the images you’ll see below.

The data used was pulled from a variety of reputable sources from around the world including The Washington Times, the BBC, and Freedom House. The below charts will address government censoring and/or blocking of torrents, pornography, political media, and social media. Now, let’s see how your country stacks up.


There are 54 countries in the African continent (though that’s open to debate) and it seems that every one of them has their own unique take on best practices when it comes to government-controlled Internet censorship with Somalia’s being the strictest. While we don’t yet have any servers in Africa, we do have some of our fastest servers not too far away in the Middle East.

Asia, the Middle East and Oceania

With 23 countries restricting torrents, pornographypolitical media, and social media, it almost goes without saying that Asia is the poster child of widespread Internet censorship. And they aren’t messing around. The infamous Great Firewall of China has grown to become so sophisticated that it can now identify and block traffic going through VPNs and that major ISPs will also cut off connections using VPN. In fact, the monster has grown so large and powerful, that in January of 2014, in an attempt to block one VPN provider, the Chinese government accidentally caused a nationwide Internet outage. Now, that being said, VPN.Express is up and running in the Middle Kingdom without a hitch! With the nearest servers running 24/7 in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. In fact, our servers are so good, we’ve even managed to help out a client in North Korea.

As indicated in the key, the darker the shade, the stricter the restrictions. Diagonal lines indicate that there is no data available.

As indicated in the key, the darker the shade, the stricter the restrictions. Diagonal lines indicate that there is no data available.

As indicated in the key, the darker the shade, the stricter the restrictions. Diagonal lines indicate that there is no data available.

The Americas

Mapping Internet censorship in the Americas doesn’t make for the prettiest of maps – but that’s kind of a good thing, right? In fact, there’s only one government in the northern half of the region that completely blocks any amount of content: Cuba blocks porn. The rest of the area does maintain certain restrictions on the use of torrents, but not much beyond that so if you want full access to anything on the web, you’ll want to connect to a US-based server.

Central and South America are, by some extents, more relaxed than there friends in the north. Though there is no censorship data available for French Guinea or the Falkland Islands, data does show that Honduras restricts access to torrents and political media – the strictest rules of the region.


Censorship activity in Europe has been crazy lately. Earlier in the year, the Turkish government blocked popular sites Twitter and YouTube and during the same month, several major news sites were blocked by Russian ISPs. All that aside, Belarus, Moldova and Turkey are the strictest in the region with no access to pornography.

The United Kingdom has come up every once in a while in censorship news with ISPs applying restrictions to dozens of content categories and tags on both private and public networks. The UK government has now reached a level where it is blocking adult sites and maintaining a master list of sites that meet the government’s criteria. Internet users can, however, opt-out of the porn blocking.

How’s internet privacy in your country?

How’s your country doing? What made you become a user of VPN.Express? Was it for the anonymity? Was it to access sites that are unavailable in your country? Or was it something else entirely. Let us know in the comments – we always love hearing from you!