World Day Against Cyber Censorship 2019 — Who are the Biggest Enemies of the Internet?
For many of us, the Internet is a space that allows us to express our true opinions, to keep up with all the worldwide news and to discuss or exchange ideas with other folks out there. Some people never even wonder about the censorship of the Internet as they aren’t affected by it in any way. Unfortunately, there are numerous censorship cases around the world that in some ways silence people’s voices or keep them out from the important news and education platforms. This is why one day (12 March, 2008) an international non-profit, non-governmental organizations ‘Reporters Without Borders’ (France-based) and ‘Amnesty International’ (London-based) sent official letters to the Chief Executive Officers of Google, Yahoo!, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation asking for an observation of a Day Against Cyber Censorship.
What the ‘Day Against Cyber Censorship’ is about?
This day is commemorated on March 12 each year. It aims to rally everyone in support of the Internet without any restrictions and draw attention to all the government censorship cases all around the globe. The Internet should be the place where free speech is allowed, and there’s no doubt that it should be easily accessible to everyone anytime needed. We can’t forget to celebrate the ‘Day Against Cyber Censorship’ as years ago brave individuals expressed their feelings towards the issues of free Internet, so every one of us should try to support this day as much as we can. Moreover, till this very year, the annual ‘Netizen Prize’ is awarded to journalists, bloggers or else, who have shown exceptional dedication to this cause. Once ‘Reporters Without Borders’ secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said that “One in three of the world’s Internet users does not have access to an unrestricted Internet”, so there’s still a long road to go towards the free speech online.
Enemies of the Internet
In 2006, ‘Reporters without Borders’ started publishing a report with a list of the current ‘Enemies of the Internet’. The list includes countries that are considered aggressively censoring the Internet to varying degrees and harassing its citizens. In 2007, a list of countries with questionable Internet policies was added to the report as being ‘Under Surveillance’.
Current ‘Enemies of the Internet’:
The governments of these countries usually block popular applications and technologies, filter specific websites and sometimes even manipulate the content that is allowed by sharing propaganda and fake news. Internet censorship often occurs when events, like elections or some protests are happening, the government wants to stop any discussion and opinion sharing between the citizens. Religion-related content is not an exception. Many minority movements, especially when it can be a threat to the ruling authorities, are strictly blocked.
How to bypass Internet censorship safely and easily?
It’s actually very simple, all you need is a good VPN and patience. You aren’t sure what the heck is a VPN? Let me shortly explain. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a computer privacy software that changes your IP address (hides the real one) and encrypts your internet traffic. It protects your identity online and makes you completely anonymous — neither your ISP nor the government can’t see what you’re doing online. Privacy and geo-blocked content bypass, are the two main purposes of the VPN, so it’s an essential tool when fighting cyber censorship. Here are a few recommendations for reliable services:
- NordVPN (based in Panama, 5400+ servers)
- Perfect.Privacy (based in Switzerland, 54 servers)
- ExpressVPN (based in the British Virgin Islands, 2000+ servers)
In conclusion, I can say that ‘Day Against Cyber Censorship’ is very important in everyone’s lives as the issues we’re dealing can’t be ignored. People have rights, and neither the government or anyone else should be able to decide what’s best for all of us, everyone needs to speak for themselves. If someone is controlling what you see online, don’t let them, you have a choice — use a VPN.