Norway is a pretty forward-thinking country, often used as a benchmark for other nations due to the way it respects its citizens’ freedom and liberties. There are 5.3 million people living in Norway right now, and over 90% of them have internet access.
The country is one of the wealthiest in the European Economic Area and often ranks high among the happiest countries in the world, but this does not mean there is no criminal activity around. Cybercrime has always been an issue all over the world and Norway was not exempted from these issues either. In fact, a recent report reveals that, every year, Norwegian businesses are exposed to big losses due to cyberattacks. This is why the use of VPNs has become very popular in Norway right now, as this software provides an extra layer of protection and keeps your private data secured.
Another main reason why people in Norway use VPNs is to bypass internet censorship and be able to access content that would otherwise be restricted in their area. This is what we will be discussing today, but before we dive into how internet censorship is present in Norway, it may be worth taking a closer look at what internet censorship actually is.
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What exactly is internet censorship?
Put simply, internet censorship is a practice meant to hinder or forbid specific online content. Usually, censorship can be applied to any type of content, such as porn, social media, digital news outlets, foreign websites, or torrenting.
Censorship can happen on multiple levels. For starters, there is censorship applied by the government, where countries ban certain content that is believed to affect the safety of users or the safety of the nation. Some examples include countries such as China, Iran, Russia, and South Korea, which have very stringent rules in place for what type of content their citizens can access.
Censorship can also be applied at home or at work for a variety of reasons. For example, parents can ban certain websites from being accessed from a personal computer or smartphone to control what kids can see online. At the same time, companies can block certain websites from being accessed, either to increase employee productivity or protect their business.
Common examples of internet censorship
Internet censorship has become a common practice, affecting not only citizens from a specific country but tourists as well. Censorship can be applied to multiple types of content, with the most common ones being:
Social media censorship
Social media has become a place where people can freely express their opinion and share their thoughts. With so much freedom of expression and little to no censorship in place, social media platforms become the perfect place for large groups of people with similar ideologies to gather and spark resistance. To prevent these groups from posing a threat to citizens and the country altogether, some nations restrict the use of certain social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. South Korea and China are among the most well-known countries for doing this.
Free communication censorship
Free communication apps such as WhatsApp or Skype can be banned in specific countries because they are posing a threat to local telecommunication companies, as well as governments. Because conversation is often encrypted and can not be accessed by third parties, totalitarian regimes can perceive them as perils and ban them.
YouTube as a platform is blocked in certain countries for the same reasons mentioned above. However, YouTube also conducts some form of censorship itself, making videos that may contain malicious content harder to find. At the same time, content creators can restrict their videos from being available in specific countries due to copyright and distribution rights.
Just as YouTube blocks specific content from certain countries, so do other websites. Some websites can’t be accessed at all by people that are not living in a specific country, while others tailor their content based on region. Netflix is a great example here, as the platform is known for geo-blocking some of its content. This is done to comply with specific laws but also due to distribution rights. This is one of the main reasons people use VPN, and you can read more at VPNportalen to find out which options you have.
How does internet censorship work in Norway?
Norway has always been seen as a country that respects its citizens and, most importantly, their freedom. However, in lieu of recent criticism from specific groups that demand ISPs (internet service providers) to censor access to specific websites, the government prompted to take action.
Compared to countries such as China and Russia, where censorship is taken very seriously, people from Norway have very few limitations to what they can access online. ISPs are required to impose CSAADFs (Child Sexual Abuse Anti Distribution Filters) to their network to prevent the distribution of child pornography. Gambling websites that don’t have a license to operate in Norway are also banned.
While the government has very good reasons to prohibit specific content, it has recently gone beyond its initial scope and started censoring various other websites as well, due to the ambiguity of certain Norwegian laws. Some of these websites include torrenting sites, streaming services, and so on.
Besides government censorship, certain websites can’t be accessed from Norway due to geo-restrictions, which we have explained more about above.
What can you do to access your favorite content?
If you want to access content that is restricted in Norway, your best bet is to use a VPN. You simply select a type of subscription, install the software, log in, and choose a server from anywhere outside Norway. The process is easy and does not require you to be a skilled computer geek to use the software and watch your favorite content.
The best thing about a VPN is that, besides allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions, it also protects your data from unwanted eyes by adding an extra layer of security. Because your real IP is hidden and another one appears in its place, hackers will find it more difficult to steal your data.