An Analysis of International Digital Censorship


  • Shlok Pathak
  • Dr. Parth Pathak



Throughout Asia, Africa, and South America, censorship of digital material is rather commonplace. Using methods such as DNS poisoning and HTTP filters, countries censor websites and webpages from being accessed by members of the public. China's great firewall blocks webpages containing sensitive content such as pornography, LGBT-related websites, and political sites with opposing views to the CCP. Through this research, our objective was to identify the means and methods through which countries censored content, the type of content censored, the effects of content censorship, and ways to get around this censorship. This was done by collecting research and data on the censorship statuses of countries such as India and China. Using research from multiple credible scientific papers, we were able to discern the methods by which countries censor data and more online research led to the discovery of its effects and ways to circumvent this censorship. We observed that certain countries, such as India, had inconsistent censorship across Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Some ISPs such as Idea network had a 76% filter consistency, while others such as BSNL had as low as 17 out of 182 of its internet resolvers poisoned. Additionally, we were able to deduce the effects of censored content on populations, which include lower political influence for groups with their media being censored and larger discrimination in countries where LGBT content was censored. We found solutions to circumvent digital censorship such as using websites with secured connections with encrypted packets, as well as switching DNS servers to access uncensored content. In the end, it is important that these solutions are known to people living in areas where content is censored so that they can use them to surf the web in a free and unrestricted way.





College of Engineering and Computing: Department of Computer Science