How to Bypass Internet Censorship in Saudi Arabia

Internet censorship in Saudi ArabiaIf you live in a country where the internet is open and uncensored, you should really never complain about anything ever again because that means you live in a country that values freedom of thought over censorship.

Saudi Arabia is not one of them; the government directs all international internet traffic through a proxy with a content filter. How bad is it? Reporters Without Borders ranked Saudi Arabia 161st out of 173 countries for freedom of the press.

Websites and content related to pornography or content related to politics and religion that are deemed offensive or inappropriate by the Saudi government are the targets of censorship.

What is Content Filtering?

Content filtering is achieved by using software designed and optimized for controlling what content viewers can view. Content filtering is commonly used to by governments, ISPs, schools, employers, and parents to restrict content delivered over the internet via the web, e-mail or other means. The content-control software determines what content may be accessible or what content will be blocked.

What is Internet Censorship?

According to Wikipedia, “Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published or viewed on the internet. It may be carried out by governments, private organizations at the behest of government, regulators or on their own initiative.”

CNET reported that Saudi Arabia threatened to block several popular internet chat, call and messaging services if they don’t get in line with the country’s regulatory requirements. The apps in question include Skype, WhatsApp and Viber.

According to a CNN report, “A statement from Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission released via SPA read, ‘The Commission emphasizes that it will take appropriate action regarding these applications and services in the event of failure to meet those conditions.’”


Use a VPN to Bypass Internet Censorship

Censorship bothers me. (On the other hand, I’d like to see some people squelched when it comes to their comments and vitriol. But that’s another article.) Fortunately, VPN apps such as Hotspot Shield VPN tackle censorship and enables you to unblock websites from anywhere.

VPNs work by enabling you to create a secure tunnel between your computer and a VPN server that is located in a different location. The VPN server is located in a place that has unrestricted access to the desired website or content. The VPN server then accesses the content on your behalf and transmits the content back to you via the secure tunnel.

If you are traveling abroad, you may find that the local government blocks access to certain websites or services by setting up location-based restrictions, and these restrictions prevent you from accessing blacklisted websites in the respective country you are in. In helping you get around these walls, Hotspot Shield stands for freedom of information.

Learn more about Hotspot Shield VPN

Robert Siciliano on

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4 Responses to How to Bypass Internet Censorship in Saudi Arabia

  1. dovalian April 7, 2015 at 4:47 am #

    I agree with you on what you said about VPN’s, I use the free version, it works and its so easy to use, as you said you can avoid location-based restrictions and increase your connection security.

  2. emman May 14, 2016 at 5:18 am #

    Is free vpn in playstore are safe …

    • Levent Sapci
      Levent Sapci May 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Emman, not all free VPNs are safe though Hotspot Shield is. We made our apps free so that any Internet user can benefit from our online privacy, security and access solutions. As you know, nothing is free in life! So in order to cover Hotspot Shield operating costs, we launched an ad-supported version and offer a premium version for those who wish to enjoy premium benefits (no ads, access to virtual locations, faster speed…). The revenue generated by ads and the sales of Elite memberships enable us to guarantee the gratuity of the service. We pride ourselves with owning 100% of the Hotspot Shield server infrastructure and the code base. We do not rely on any other 3rd party service or code to provide the Hotspot Shield service. This enables us to guarantee the privacy of our users. Hope this answers your concern?
      Thanks! Levent from the Hotspot Shield Team-


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