You think there is no censorship on the Internet and the web is a free for all space to explore. Think again.

Growing Number of Internet Blackouts

World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development report by UNESCO warns that the number of internet shutdowns is increasing in 2017, including  blocking and filtering actions taken by state agencies worldwide.

The number of countries that have adopted freedom of information laws is growing but slowly – from 90 countries in 2011 to 112 in 2016.


A chart showing that the number of Internet blocking by state agencies rose from 55 in 2016 to 61 at the end of the third quarter of 2017.

Overall, 48 percent of world population has access to the Internet compared to 35 percent in 2015. Actually, Internet shutdowns and blocking occur exactly in countries where the Internet is a new technology or where rural areas have limited access to online services. Internet blocking also hints at possible privacy issues across the affected region.

India and Pakistan Block the Internet Most Often

India leads the way in blocking the Internet or mobile apps with 54 shutdowns taking place in the country. Second placed Pakistan obscured the national Internet access on 10 occasions. Last year a total of 55 Internet shutdowns occurred globally with their number increasing to 61 since the start of 2017.

Having the above figures in mind, you need to carefully select where to host your service and how to position your branding content since Internet blackouts are often associated with censorship over web content and online services provided to customers living in the respective country.