Freedom of speech is a hot-button issue in the United States. We strike up protest against any and all that threaten to impede on our voice as a people and as individuals. Browsing the web seems like a right we are entitled to as citizens in this country. The concept of limited and restricted Internet browsing is hard to comprehend and the idea of someone else deciding what can and cannot access comes off as a violation of our rights. The idea of repressed Internet access is not so novel in other countries throughout the world. Internet censorship is widespread in even the most developed of nations. Surfing the web in another country often leads to dead ends and limited results, and in some extreme cases can be punishable by law. If you will be traveling abroad in the future, be aware you may not be able to upload pictures to Facebook or Tweet at all destination spots on your journey. For instance, China has what they call the Golden Shield Project, often referred to as “The Great Firewall of China.” The Golden Shield blocks Internet users in China from many sites and heavily monitors their Internet usage. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are virtually unheard of and access to these sites is impossible. Government agencies monitor keywords mostly related to pornography, religion, philosophy or politics conflicting with government views, social media and foreign news sources. Many governments even enforce laws on Internet Service Providers to monitor usage. Countries with extensive Internet surveillance and restriction include Pakistan, India, Burma, China, Iran and Cuba. Exchange of free information is stifled and most of the residents in these countries are unaware of how much they are being denied. Learning Internet usage is so heavily monitored and restricted in many of these countries is unsurprising, yet it is shocking to learn Australia implements Internet surveillance filters and federal police have the authority necessary to block any website. If you plan on visiting foreign destinations with Internet censorship and can’t imagine going without your daily Facebook Fix or your favorite news site, there are ways to bypass Internet censorship. Doing research beforehand as to which sites are blocked will save you a lot of grief on your next trip, it may also make your browsing abroad safer. For more information on Internet censorship click here.