New study reveals how Romania ranks for internet freedoms

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According to a Comparitech study published today, internet freedoms in Romania are 27% restricted.

Comparitech researchers explored internet censorship and restrictions in 175 countries in order to reveal which governments impose the harshest restrictions.

Areas assessed included restrictions on social media, messaging apps, VPN usage, and censorship of political media.

The worst countries for internet censorship are North Korea, China, Iran, Belarus, Qatar, Syria, Russia.

“While it’s no great surprise to see the likes of China, Russia, and North Korea topping the list, the growing number of restrictions in many other countries is greatly concerning,” the authors of the study argue.

There are three countries that appear to have upped their censorship. One is Thailand, the second, Guinea,and the third, the most surprising, though, is Greece. In Greece’s case, “this is due to increased actions against torrenting and restrictions on political media”.

“Media outlets in Greece that were critical of the government were omitted or given disproportionately small figures from tax rebates. Public TV channels were ordered not to broadcast a video that showed the prime minister disregarding lockdown rules in February 2021. Coverage of the refugee crisis was heavily restricted. And journalists were reported to have been obstructed by police at a commemorative event. A renowned Greek crime journalist, Giorgos Karaivaz, was also assassinated in April 2021.”

The survey also shows that 18 countries have banned or shut down torrenting sites. A number have also introduced measures but aren’t blocking websites as of yet (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia). As they aren’t blocking torrenting sites, these haven’t been scored as having “sites blocked” and are instead scored as being “restricted.”

In Europe however,  the two countries that heavily censor political media are Belarus and Turkey. No European countries block or ban social media but five do restrict it. These are Belarus, Montenegro, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine.

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