Although there has been an increase in the spread of the Internet since the beginning of the pandemic, about 4.9 billion people use it, an increase of only 800 million since 2019, and more than 3 billion people still cannot access the Internet.
This data is communicated by the International Communication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies.
The increase was therefore due to lockdowns, the closure of schools, access to health services, e-commerce, banking, and to communicate with friends, relatives and colleagues around the world.
However, it is quite particular that where the internet is widespread, there are countries that have banned the use of Social Media and Chat, and the censorship of some Websites.
Censorship that derives from the fact that a "click" is enough to communicate with anyone and report information (true or false does not count) that could harm people, companies, organizations and the country of origin. Just as a "click" is enough to allow you to benefit people, companies and organizations, sharing information and spreading propaganda messages, disinformation and much more.
Among these countries we mention:
- North Korea where Internet use is extremely limited.
- Iran has blocked most Western sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
- China controls internet access and allows it to be browsed only on permitted sites. There are no Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others, because there are similar sites for the Chinese. The Google search engine is used by very few people. In October 2021, the news that Microsoft has closed LinkedIn in China.
- Turkey has blocked access to Twitter and is expected to block many social networks.
- Eritrea has an almost total blockade, with the particularity that the authorities can read the emails without asking for permission.
- Censorship in countries like Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- Cuba has recently allowed access to the Internet, but people who can connect are still few and those who want to do so must go to public facilities and register.
- Saudi Arabia has censored content relating to books, magazines, newspapers, films, television programs published on the Internet for religious reasons. Everything is controlled.
The list shown is just an example, other states have banned the internet and social media such as Egypt, Mauritius, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Algeria, Vietnam, Tunisia, Syria, Bangladesh.
No use of chats
For those accustomed to the use of WhatsApp and Telegram there are countries among those listed that completely prohibit their use.
Yet around 2 billion users in over 180 countries around the world use it. Finding difficulties in communicating with their friends, relatives and colleagues, if they move for work or vacation reasons in some of the countries mentioned above.
This is not only the case with WhatsApp and Telegram, but also with Social Media and other Chats.
For example, in Switzerland, recently, in January 2022, the use of WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram was banned for the entire Swiss army, requiring them to use the Threema messaging app which has servers located in Switzerland. However, these servers are encrypted.
In Germany there is the hypothesis (it is only a hypothesis) of blocking on Telegram, with a request for exclusion from Google and Apple, to prevent the spread of threats and disinformation.
But is all this possible?
Western countries are realizing that in the event of a ban on chats such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and others, a dangerous precedent would be created for every government because the protection of freedom of expression, which is very important in Western countries, would fail.
How to overcome these drawbacks?
BLIVALE has customers who have purchased SIM cards to travel to countries that prohibit the use of the Internet, Chat and Social Media.
BLIVALE customers have confirmed that they have no restrictions in the countries where there are these blocks: they continued to navigate and communicate with the whole world, taking advantage of the free roaming advantage.