The West Is Burning Books

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Elon Musk wrote, “Same,” to Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski’s X comment that “Rumble has received censorship demands from Australia, New Zealand, and other countries that infringe on everyone’s human rights. We are noticing a dramatic increase in global censorship, unlike anything we’ve seen before,” he said.

Pavlovski added, “Censorship by regimes around the world is going into high gear. Buckle up, everyone.”

The EU’s Digital Services Act will censor without end, and that is only one of the many censorship laws shutting down free speech in the all-important world of the Internet.

CENSORSHIP RESEARCH

In 2020, the University of Michigan researchers found an alarming increase in global censorship. They described the global censorship as “extremely aggressive.

“What we see from our study is that no country is completely free,” said Ram Sundara Raman, a PhD candidate in computer science and engineering at U-M and the first author on the paper.

“Today, many countries start with legislation that compels internet service providers to block something that’s obviously bad, like child sex abuse material. But once that blocking infrastructure is in place, governments can block any websites they choose, and it’s usually a very opaque process.

That’s why censorship measurement is crucial, particularly continuous measurements that show trends over time.”

Comparitech reports that over 65 percent of the world’s population (5.3 billion people) uses the internet.  It’s our source of instant information, entertainment, news, and social interactions.

But where can citizens enjoy equal and open internet access – if anywhere?

Comparitech researchers posted countries with the least and most censorship, and you can view the maps on this link. They found:

While it’s no great surprise to see the likes of China, North Korea, and Iran topping the list, the growing number of restrictions in many other countries is greatly concerning. This year [2024] we saw more than 50 countries increase their internet censorship in some way, compared to 27 from last year’s study. Most of the new restrictions surround social media/apps, political media, and pornography.

With the growing introduction of age-verification systems in the likes of the UK, US, and Germany and new online laws that enable governments to monitor and often censor social media, our digital privacy is at increasing risk.

VPNs For Now

Thankfully, VPNs do still offer a way for many of us to surf the net privately (and legally). However, as censorship becomes increasingly common, more and more countries could join the restricted list, leaving many unable to access the open web.

Chris Pavlovski explains his commitment to free speech:

Emphasis added.


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