Top 10 Countries With Highest Internet Censorship in 2016

Image: Freedom House

Short Bytes: The Freedom on the Net 2016 report published by Freedom House brings some insight to the level of internet censorship in the world. Almost 67% internet population uses censored internet. Here are the top 10 countries with highest internet censorship.

Internet censorship is a trending hot topic and people’s freedom is constantly declining with every passing year. Governments are trying to bind the internet population in digital chains. They only allow people to see what they want them to see. Anything that even mildly criticizes a non-democratic government or monarchy, or even a democratic government in the recent scenario, doesn’t qualify to pass through the censorship filter.

Taking away internet freedom isn’t just confined to blocking websites. Raising your voice also has its consequences. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the top targets. The target pool further expands to include instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. A person could get arrested for making a simple post or even engaging in an existing post. The reason might be limited to an anti-government text or an act of online activism that can make a bigger impact.

Different nations have their own level of internet censorship. Extremity exists in countries like China where websites like Google don’t find their place on the internet. Or the case of North Korea, the country has their own internet which consists of only 28 websites.

Freedom on the Net 2016 (FOTN) report by Freedom House describes the state of internet freedom in different parts of the world. It says, as high as 67% of the internet populations around the world uses the internet that’s censored in some form.


On looking at the world map generated using the data, it appears that the internet population in Asia is using a lot less ‘free’ internet than the population living in western continents like North and South America. And even in Europe, the internet is freer to a great extent. For Africa, where most of the land is not taken into consideration, the non-free internet exists.

Image Freedom House

Freedom House has assigned an FOTN score (out of 100) to each of the 65 countries they took into consideration during their study. These countries cover almost 88% internet population of the world. Among those 65 countries, 17 have free internet, 28 have partly free, and 20 have non-free internet.

Asia accounts for a big chunk of internet population existing in China, India, Turkey, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Russia, etc. Countries with high censorship like China, Ethiopia, Iran, Syria, etc are ones to have a high FOTN score above 80, practically approaching towards the worst form of censorship. On the other hand, countries like Estonia, Iceland, Canada, US, Germany are top countries with lowest FOTN scores.

Top 10 Countries With Highest Internet Censorship

Country FOTN Score
China 88
Syria 87
Iran 87
Ethopia 83
Uzbekistan 79
Cuba 79
Vietnam 76
Saudi Arabia 72
Bahrain 71
Pakistan 69


To know more, read the complete Freedom on the Net 2016 report.

If you have something to add, tell us in the comments below.

Also Read: Top 30 Countries With Highest IPv6 Adoption

Aditya Tiwari

Aditya Tiwari

Aditya likes to cover topics related to Microsoft, Windows 10, Apple Watch, and interesting gadgets. But when he is not working, you can find him binge-watching random videos on YouTube (after he has wasted an hour on Netflix trying to find a good show). Reach out at [email protected]
More From Fossbytes

Latest On Fossbytes

Find your dream job