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Are VPNs Legal?

In many countries, especially in the western hemisphere, using a VPN is absolutely legal.

However, this legality doesn’t extend to the activities you do online when you’re using a VPN...

Is It Illegal To Use A VPN

Are VPNs LegalWhat’s illegal without a VPN, that will be illegal with one, too. A VPN only covers your tracks and hides you from legal authorities and others who may want to spy on you online...

Illegal Activities

Illegal ActivitiesAs mentioned earlier, the activities that are illegal still remain such with or without a VPN. To make sure you stay out of trouble, and be clear on what you can and cannot do online, we composed a list of online crimes below.

https://www.acma.gov.au/Citizen/Internet/esecurity/Staying-safe-online/illegal-online-activity-esecurity-i-acma

https://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/09/illegal-internet-things/streaming-certain-tracks-on-grooveshark

Countries Where VPN Is Illegal

Here is a list of countries where using a VPN is not only frowned upon, but it is strictly against the law.

Belarus

BelarusPeople in Belarus have restricted access to VPN sites.

Furthermore, the government is considering further restrictions on internet privacy tools. 

The Belarusian government sees VPNs and Tor as tools that help citizens bypassing the country’s laws on online activities.

China

ChinaChina has the habit to threaten online freedom by restricting VPNs and access to certain websites, but it is not completely illegal to use a VPN in the country. International companies need VPNs to protect their sensitive data from prying eyes, therefore China can’t ban VPNs altogether.

There are certain penalties, however, if an individual is accessing the internet through a VPN or other “illegal channels”. It’s not impossible to access the Internet safe and sound through a VPN, and if you want to make sure to find the best provider see our list of 5 Best VPNs for China.

Iran

IranOfficially, it’s illegal in Iran to use a VPN since the Iranian government banned VPN access with only a few exceptions. However, it is not impossible to use one. If an individual is caught using a VPN, they can be sentenced to prison for up to one year.

In order to avoid sentences for using a VPN, you need the most reliable provider out there, and in our list of 5 Best VPNs for Iran you can find them.

Iraq

IraqIn order to track ISIS and stop terrorism, Iraqi government banned VPN use. Using a VPN in the country is a punishable crime. Unfortunately, this regulation does not only affect terrorists and ISIS members, but individual citizens, as well.

If you’d like to know which is the best VPN for Iraq to bypass the country’s strict anti-VPN regulation, you can find our list of 5 Best VPNs for Iraq here.

North Korea

North KoreaUnsurprisingly, North Korea banned VPN use as it is. 

This country is well-known for having strict rules regarding media and internet access, so it is just natural that they don’t welcome tools that help citizens to bypass their restrictions. 

A North Korean citizen who uses a VPN can expect harsh punishment.

Oman

OmanGovernment approved VPNs are legal in Oman, however, it is not the case for individual VPN users. 

Citizens in Oman can receive a fine up to a thousand dollars if caught using a VPN.

If you’re interested in the most reliable VPN providers to guard your safety, see our list of the 5 Best VPNs for Oman.

Russia

RussiaRussia is another country that doesn’t surprise anyone with their strict online regulations. Therefore, banning VPNs feels just obvious on the part of the Russian government. They already blacklisted websites that criticize the government’s actions.

Wikipedia, GitHub, and Amazon Web Services are also among the banned sites and services for hosting content that the Russian media and IT services regulator (aka Roskomnadzor) found unacceptable.

For keeping your privacy safe, see our 5 highly recommended VPNs to use when in Russia.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi ArabiaUsing a VPN in Saudi Arabia is mainly illegal as many VPN services are banned. Besides, Saudi Arabia is a country known for strict regulations regarding freedom of speech. 

Therefore, many websites and services (such as Skype) are inaccessible on the regular internet network, unsurprisingly.

See our list of the best VPNs to use in Saudi Arabia here.

Turkey

TurkeyTurkey has already banned many online media outlets, websites that criticize or straightly oppose the government, social media accounts, and many more. In March 2018 the Turkish government declared that they had been working on banning VPNs.

Until then, we’ve compiled a list of the most reliable VPNs out there to use in Turkey, see it here.

United Arab Emirates

United Arab EmiratesUsing a VPN in the UAE is a punishable crime, and anyone who uses a VPN or proxy to shield their activity is automatically assumed to commit illegal activity online. 

The punishment can be a prison sentence and fines ranging from US$136,130 to $544,521 as a maximum.

In order to protect yourself in the UAE here is a list of the most reliable VPN services.

Find Out Whether Your Country Allows VPN Use(?)

Afghanistan

Although Afghanistan tends to ban certain websites and somewhat control the internet, it has not made VPN use illegal in the country.

Albania

In Albania, there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Algeria

The Algerian government has a tendency to block certain websites they deem inappropriate, but VPN use is absolutely legal in the country.

Andorra

In Andorra there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Angola

In 2016 Angolan president signed a new media law that affects the freedom of expression in the country, and many disagreed with the law when it came into action. The law or any other law in the country does not make it illegal to use a VPN.

Antigua and Barbuda

In Antigua and Barbuda there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Argentina

It is perfectly legal in Argentina to use a VPN, however the country has certain censorship laws that are vague enough to be abused by the government and prosecute almost anyone based on their online activity. See our list of the best VPNs for Argentina here.

Armenia

According to a Freedom House report social media sites are blocked in Armenia, and the press is strictly censored, but it is not illegal to use a VPN.

Australia

Australians use VPN in increasing numbers, and doing so is perfectly legal in the country. However, using a VPN is only legal if the user does not download or copy the accessed material. Just watch, don’t touch! Here you can find a list of the best VPNs to use in Australia.

Austria

Austria’s constitution protects its citizens’ rights to free speech and press, and it’s also absolutely legal to use a VPN. For extra privacy, you may find some great suggestions here for which VPN to use in Austria.

Azerbaijan

The country has reportedly blocked certain websites in the past, especially for political reasons. However, using a VPN is still legal in the country.

Bahamas

The Bahamas is mostly a free country that secures freedom of speech and open access to information according to Freedom House. It is also legal to use a VPN.

Bahrain

According to Freedom House, Bahrain heavily censors the internet and conducts online surveillance on internet users, but it is not illegal to use a VPN.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh’ government is famous for blocking websites and restricting access to social media sites. Still, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN in Bangladesh. For more information and privacy protection see our article of the best VPNs to use in Bangladesh here.

Barbados

In Barbados there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Belgium

Belgium has made news by conducting internet censorship in certain cases, however it is a free, democratic country in Europe, and its citizens are free to express themselves and access any kind of information. VPNs are also legal to use in the country.

Belize

For a while there was a restriction by BTL (the main telecommunications company of Belize) on using certain internet telephony applications, but these restrictions were lifted in 2013. Belize also allows VPN use.

Benin

In Benin there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Bhutan

Bhutan is a partly free country regarding freedom of the press according to a report by Freedom House. Despite that it is legal to use VPNs.

Bolivia

Bolivia has conducted internet surveillance, and according to Freedom House they’re breaching the democratic rights of their citizens, however, it is not illegal to use a VPN.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s freedom of speech is questionable as journalists and other media workers receive death threats for unraveling corruption and political anomalies in the country. But there is no known instance of direct surveillance in the country, and VPNs are legal to use.

Botswana

Botswana is yet another country that has internet censorship issues, but there is nothing against VPNs in the country’s law.

Brazil

Brazil’s government is able to deliberately interfere with internet censorship and privacy, but VPN use is legal in the country. See our list of highly recommended VPNs to use in Brazil.

Brunei

There is internet censorship in Brunei that is achieved through slowing down the internet in the country. However, using a VPN is legal in the country.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a partly-free status when it comes to the media in the country according to Freedom House. Freedom is speech legally exists, although oppositional journalists and media workers have to endure threats. The use of VPN, however, is still legal in the country.

Burkina Faso

According to a 2016 Freedom House report, Burkina Faso has no legal censorship, and the country has a free press. It is completely legal to use a VPN in the country.

Burundi

In Burundi there is a constitutional right to freedom of speech and press, however, these are not put in practice, and there is a strong governmental influence. But it is legal to use VPNs in the country.

Cape Verde

According to a 2015 report, Cape Verde has been one of the freest countries in Africa regarding freedom of speech and press. There is no known instance of governmental interference with the media or internet access. The use of VPNs is legal in Cape Verde.

Cambodia

In Cambodia, there are worrying instances of internet censorship and surveillance, and it is not easy for Cambodian citizens to just freely express their opinions on certain topics. The country is classified as partly-free in this regard, but VPNs are allowed. Here is a list of the five best VPNs to use in Cambodia.

Cameroon

Cameroon is yet another one of the countries on our list that has made headlines in the past because the country’s government blocked the internet deliberately thus depriving citizens of accessing information and freedom of expression. The use of VPN in the country is legal.

Canada

There is news making rounds about attempts to somewhat censor the internet for piracy prevention purposes. But Canada is a country known for its respect for basic human rights including freedom of speech and free press, so it is not surprisingly legal to use VPNs in the country. If you are interested in using a VPN in Canada, here is our exhaustive list of the five best.

Central African Republic (CAR)

In the CAR internet is heavily regulated by the government, and only 3.5% of the citizens could access it according to a report. VPN use is not illegal in CAR.

Chad

Chad has recently made headlines again (and again) because of blocking social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others. But VPN use is legal in the country.

Chile

Chile is one of the few countries in South America that has a free press and open access to the internet, and there is little governmental interference with these. It is also legal to use a VPN.

Colombia

There are numerous cases of illegal internet surveillance and also censorship in Colombia, thus the “partly free” classification of the country. The use of VPNs is legal in Colombia.

Comoros

There are no instances of government interference with internet access and no regulation whatsoever, the only thing that makes it hard to access the internet in Comoros is the poor telecommunication infrastructure. VPN use is legal in Comoros.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

This country often makes headlines for blocking social media sites, or its government cutting off the internet so people cannot access information freely. VPNs are legal to use in the country.

Republic of the Congo

Similarly to the DRC above, this is one more country in Africa that has problems with ensuring the privacy of their citizens and deliberate access to the internet. There were instances of government directed blocking of cellphones and social media during the 2016 election. VPNs are not illegal in this country.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, there have been issues of internet restrictions, and a cybercrime law with questionable purposes, but no known deliberate governmental interference with internet freedom. VPNs are legal to use in the country.

Cote d'Ivoire

There was an attempt to establish restrictive media laws in the country, which could have threatened freedom of speech and expression. The overall classification of the country is “partly free” regarding the social and political environment. The use of VPN is still legal in Cote d'Ivoire.

Croatia

Croatia is trying to establish new cybercrime laws in order to cease hate speech and violent behavior on the internet, but many think that the new law would threaten freedom of speech and would restrict internet use. The use of VPN in Croatia is completely legal.

Cuba

Several websites and telephony applications such as Skype are blocked in Cuba, and internet censorship is conducted through slowing down the connection. It is also relatively expensive for locals to use the internet, and that also implements indirect censorship. VPN use is legal in Cuba.

If you want to know more about the Cuban internet situation and which VPN to use there, see our list here.

Cyprus

VPNs are legal to use in Cyprus, and that is fortunate because netizens from Cyprus have been complaining about several instances when the internet was censored or their activity monitored.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, you are legally free to use VPNs. The country has a relatively low rate in internet censorship among most countries.

Denmark

VPN use is completely legal, and you don’t have to be afraid of the government prying in your online activities, or blocking websites with important information.

Djibouti

VPNs are legal in Djibouti, but it is yet another country that places some restrictions on internet use. There have been instances of blocking certain websites or harassing journalists for their criticizing approach.

Dominica

You can freely use a VPN in Dominica. The country has no instances of internet censorship or online government surveillance, and according to this report, 67% of Dominicans can enjoy access to the internet.

Dominican Republic

The use of VPNs is legal in the Dominican Republic. There have been a few allegations of government surveillance on online activity, but there is no internet censorship in the country.

Ecuador

There have been several suspiciously coincidental cyber attacks on news outlets and websites that in some way criticized the government, and there also have been instances of internet censorship. However, VPN use is legal in the country.

Egypt

Just recently a new media law has been established in Egypt that threatens citizen’s rights as it enables authorities to block any website that’s deemed dangerous regarding national security. Internet Service Providers should provide authorities with personal data and information according to the new law. The use of VPN is still legal.

In order to protect privacy and personal safety take a look at our list of the five best VPNs for Egypt.

El Salvador

El Salvador is a completely free country regarding human rights and internet freedom. Internet access is not restricted in any way, and critical media are not oppressed. VPNs are also legal to use.

Equatorial Guinea

The country has a highly oppressive government in almost every regards. Internet access is restricted, sometimes cut off altogether, and newspapers which criticize the government often threatened financially and politically, so they are unable to operate on a regular basis. VPNs are legal to use, though.

Eritrea

Eritrea is another country with an oppressive government and that explains the 1% figure of internet users in the country. Authorities can and do survey online activity. Several websites and media outlets have been shut down in the past. Surprising or not, it is legal to use a VPN in Eritrea.

Estonia

Estonia, alongside Iceland, owns the number one spot in the race for internet freedom. This means that there is no restriction or surprise surveillance whatsoever. VPN use is obviously legal in Estonia.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia has taken major steps this year towards a truly democratic state, and it has included the reestablishment of internet and broadband services. It is also legal to use VPN in the country.

Fiji

Internet access is secured and not restricted at all in Fiji, and over 46% percent of the citizens use the internet. There have been no instances of shutting down sites or threatening media outlets. VPNs are also legal in Fiji.

Finland

Finland sounds heavenly when it comes to internet freedom and basic human rights. Finnish citizens literally have the right to use the internet, there are no restrictions, only illegal or otherwise dangerous websites are blocked. VPNs are also totally legal to use in Finland.

France

France is usually very democratic and liberal when it comes to citizens’ rights of freedom of speech and expression, and of course the internet. There are currently no blocks or restrictions, however, the French government will introduce a law against “fake news”, which can be threatening with internet censorship according to some.

VPNs are perfectly legal to use in France, and for more privacy, you can find the best in our list here.

Gabon

Like many countries in our list, Gabon’s government has also been reported to shut down the internet in the country as a means of censorship. VPNs, however, are legal to use in the country.

Gambia

Similarly to other restrictive governments, Gambia’s government also imposes a blockage on internet access to prevent citizens from information. The country is classified as not free regarding several factors. The are no laws against VPN use in the country.

Georgia

Internet censorship has been reported in Georgia, but the country is improving in this regard and classified as free. VPNs are legal to use in the country.

Germany

The new law that requires social media companies to remove comments and harmful content caused a debate about what kind of precedent Germany sets for other countries if anything can be removed by the government. Other than that Germany is not a restrictive country regarding internet freedom, and VPNs can be legally used.

If you want to know more about choosing a VPN service for Germany, here is our list of the five best.

Ghana

There is no known instance of internet censorship, but there was a proposal to block social media sites during the elections to prevent citizens from spreading false information. VPNs are legal in the country. Here is our list the five best VPNs to use in Ghana.

Greece

Greek authorities have been using the means of internet censorship and surveillance in the past years, and freedom of speech may suffer further in the future. For now, VPNs are legal in Greece.

Grenada

You can legally use VPNs in the country, and you might actually need to. A new law has been established in Grenada that punishes internet users for “offensive online comments” and according to critics the wording of the law is very vague in terms of “offensive”. That may enable the authorities to abuse the law.

Guatemala

The use of VPN is legal in Guatemala. There are no known instances of internet censorship, or other restrictions on internet access.

Guinea

There are restrictions on internet use in Guinea, and it is legal to use a VPN in the country.

Guinea-Bissau

In Guinea-Bissau, there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs. However, the poor infrastructure makes it hard to properly access the internet.

Guyana

In Guyana, there is no known instance of government interference or internet restrictions. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Haiti

It is legal to use a VPN is Haiti, and there are no restrictive policies on internet use in the country.

Honduras

There is an ongoing process of accepting a new law in Honduras that threatens the right to free speech as the law would require internet service providers to block certain online content. VPNs are legal in Honduras.

Hungary

VPNs can be legally used in Hungary, however, the Hungarian government conducts online surveillance to some extent. There is no known instance of blocking online content or restricting the internet in Hungary.

Iceland

Besides Estonia, that we already mentioned above in this article, Iceland holds the number one spot in internet freedom worldwide. VPNs are also perfectly legal to use.

India

India has made news regarding internet blackouts that many thinks are means of censorship by the Indian government. VPNs are legal in the country, though.

Here is our exhaustive list of the best VPN providers for India.

Indonesia

There is an “internet censorship system” in Indonesia and the list of website blocking expanded as recently Tumblr has been added to it. The government tries to control content on social media sites like Tumblr, and in the case of the latter, they excused their action by saying the blockage would prevent access to pornographic content on the site.

VPNs are, however, legal in the country, and if you still want to visit Tumblr, not for illegal porn, obviously, then check out our list of the best VPNs for Indonesia.

Ireland

There are no instances of serious internet censorship in Ireland, and you can also legally use VPNs in the country. Check out our best VPNs for Ireland for more privacy.

Israel

The internet censorship in Israel is present to some extent, mainly for political reasons. VPNs are legal to use, however.

Italy

VPNs are legal in Italy, however, there is a law that has recently been established and requires internet and telecommunication service providers to log user data for up to six years, which threatens the right to freedom of expression.

If you’re interested to learn more about Italy and its online practices, and also about the best VPN providers for Italy, see our article here.

Jamaica

In Jamaica, there is no known instance of government interference with citizens’ rights to freedom of speech or the free press. It is also legal to use VPNs.

Japan

Japan’s constitution prohibits all sort of censorship, however, ISPs can decide to block certain sites if they see fit, as they’ve done in a few instances. VPNs are completely legal to use in Japan, and for more details see our Best VPNs for Japan article here.

Jordan

Internet censorship certainly exists in Jordan, and ISPs have blocked popular telecommunication applications such as Skype and WhatsApp. There are also legal restrictions on internet freedom. VPNs, however, are not banned in Jordan.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan legally allows VPN use in the country, however, there are serious online censorship instances that have made headlines not long ago.

Kenya

You can legally use VPNs in Kenya, and this is also one of the few African countries that have no instances of government interference with internet access and freedom of expression.

Kiribati

VPN use is legal in Kiribati, and there is no internet censorship or government surveillance conducted in the country.

Kosovo

Kosovo’s telecommunications infrastructure is great, and there is no trace of online censorship or sneaky surveillance on citizens’ privacy. VPNs are legal in Kosovo.

Kuwait

There is a strong governmental influence on internet censorship in Kuwait, and they also accepted a law in 2014 that allows surveillance. But VPNs are legal to use in the country.

Kyrgyzstan

VPNs are legal to use in this country. Also, there are no instances for censorship or surveillance in Kyrgyzstan, and the internet is considered free in the country. Unfortunately, the telecommunications infrastructure is poor and that might be an obstructing factor.

Laos

There are known instances of government surveillance and internet restriction to some extent, but VPNs are legal to use in Laos.

Latvia

There have been no known instances of government restrictions or surveillance. VPNs can be legally used in Latvia.

Lebanon

Even using the internet in Lebanon is a challenge because of infrastructural issues, and also there have been instances of blocking mobile internet access. VPNs yet remain legal to use.

Lesotho

Internet access is scarce in Lesotho because of the poor infrastructure and relatively high prices. Otherwise, it is not restricted or censored, however, according to Reporters Without Borders the country’s media is certainly not free. VPNs are legal, though.

Liberia

Liberia also has a poor infrastructure that makes it hard to access the internet, but the government doesn’t restrict it or conduct surveillance. VPNs are not illegal either.

Libya

There have been instances of internet shut down for political reasons, and the telecommunications infrastructure is damaged due to vandalism. Despite all of this, VPNs are not banned in Libya.

Liechtenstein

There have been no instances of internet censorship or surveillance. VPNs are perfectly legal to use Liechtenstein.

Lithuania

There have been no known instances of censorship or surveillance, and VPNs are also legal in the country.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg has a free press, and there is no governmental restriction on the internet, and they also respect citizens’ privacy. VPN use is completely legal.

Macedonia

There is no governmental restriction on the internet, and they also respect citizens’ privacy in Macedonia. VPN use is completely legal.

Madagascar

Madagascar has had no known instances of governmental restrictions or surveillance, and VPN use is also legal.

Malawi

Technically accessing the internet is hard enough in Malawi, but even if you manage to do so, the government can deliberately restrict online content. VPNs remain legal in the country for now.

Malaysia

Generally, Malaysia has no reported instances of government censorship, but there are infrastructural problems. The country has made headlines this year when it passed a new law that tries to eliminate fake news, and many are afraid as the law may be abusable by the government. VPNs are still legal in the country.

For more details on the situation in Malaysia and to see our recommended VPNs for the country, click here.

Maldives

There are ongoing media restrictions in the country that extend to online content as well. However, VPNs are still legal to use.

Mali

Just recently Mali has made headlines because the government deliberately disrupted internet access, and shut down social media sites during the presidential election. VPNs are, however, perfectly legal to use.

Malta

The internet in Malta is not restricted by the government currently, and VPNs are legal to use.

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands has no instances of the government restricting or surveying the internet. VPNs are also allowed in the country.

Mauritania

There are no recorded instances of government interference with web access or of online surveillance. Mauritania legally allows VPNs.

Mauritius

There have been a few instances of Mauritius blocking certain websites, however, VPNs remain legal to use.

Mexico

MexicoMexico has no instances of censorship so far, but a new copyright law enables content removal or suspension, and many are afraid that this could make it easier for the government to abuse the law and deliberately remove online content.

Mexico allows VPNs, and if you want to know which is the best to use, see our list here.

Micronesia

There are no known instances of internet censorship or surveillance in Micronesia. And VPNs are legal to use in the country.

Moldova

The internet infrastructure in Moldova is remarkably great, and this country doesn’t really make it into the news by censoring online content. VPNs are completely legal.

Monaco

Monaco has no reported instances of censorship or surveillance, and VPNs are also legal in the country.

Mongolia

There have been no recent instances of censorship in Mongolia. VPNs still remain legal in the country.

Montenegro

Montenegro has a relatively restrictive government, and there was a reported instance of censorship when the country shut down Viber and WhatsApp during the elections. VPNs are legal to use.

Morocco

The government in Morocco has the right to block or remove online content, but due to the political environment internet freedom has declined and is in a dangerous position regarding its future. VPNs seem to remain legal.

Mozambique

Mozambique has recently got degraded on the international scale of press freedom, and that includes online news as well. But VPNs are legal to use.

Myanmar

MyanmarMyanmar shows an upward tendency on internet freedom, however, it’s still not perfectly private and open to use the web in the country. VPNs are allowed in the country.

Namibia

There have been no instances of internet restriction in the country, but only 15% of the population accesses the web. VPNs are legal in Namibia.

Nauru

Nauru has temporarily banned social media sites, especially Facebook, and censored the internet in the country in 2015. At the time many were concerned about internet freedom on the island, but since then it has died down. VPNs are also allowed in Nauru.

Nepal

VPNs are currently legal in the country. One might actually need it to access certain sites in Nepal as the country has introduced a new media directive in 2016 that allows authorities to ban sites and block content of any kind that it deems unfit. It raised concerns among officials, the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists), and the Nepal Press Union.

Netherlands

As you might have already guessed, the Netherlands allows VPNs and they have no reported issues with the government censoring the internet or snooping on netizens. For more details on the country’s internet situation and the best VPNs to use for privacy, check out our article here.

New Zealand

New Zealand has a censorship legislation that censors and blocks sites that are illegal to access like child porn. Otherwise, New Zealand doesn’t bother its citizen as long as they are within the legal borders of the internet. They allow VPN use, too.

Nicaragua

The country has recently experienced internet shutdown in the middle of a wave of protests in the country, but there are no official declarations by the government on imposing censorship. VPNs are legal in Nicaragua.

Niger

There are instances of censorship in the country, but these generally extend to websites that are associated with terrorism. There have been no reports on surveillance by the government. You can also use a VPN in Niger.

Nigeria

There have been no instances of deliberate internet censorship in the country. There were reports of shutdowns in 2014 and 2015 for emergency reasons.

VPNs can be used in Nigeria, and for more details on them and on the country’s internet situation see our 5 Best VPNs for Nigeria article.

Norway

There have been news about intentions for censorship in Norway as a political party deemed the internet dangerous altogether because there is porn available on it. The intent raised concerns as a censorship like that could lead to further losses of freedom. Presently, there are no reported instances of government censorship, and VPNs are also allowed to use.

To learn more about Norway’s approach to the internet and about the best providers to use see our article here.

Pakistan

Pakistan actively censors the internet, and the country’s policy is restrictive on using the web. VPNs are allowed, however.

Read more about Pakistan’s position on internet use and find the best VPN for more privacy here.

Palau

There are no reported instances of censorship or surveillance in Palau, and VPNs are also completely legal to use.

Palestine

There are reports of internet censorship in Palestine imposed by the Israeli government that also conducts surveillance on internet users. VPNs are still legal in the country.

Panama

There have been a few proposals for internet censorship in the country, but none of them is likely to become a censorship law.

VPNs are legal to use in Panama, and if you want to know more about them and about Panama’s approach to internet and censorship, see our article with 5 recommended VPNs here.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has recently proposed a temporary ban on Facebook allegedly to clean the platform from fake accounts and prevent copyrighted or illegal content. Many became concerned about the idea as Facebook is one of the most powerful platform for accessing information. However, VPNs are allowed in the country.

Paraguay

The country’s leadership has attempted internet censorship and snooping in the form of a proposed law. However, Paraguay doesn’t have reported cases of censorship currently, and VPNs are also legal to use.

Peru

There are no reported instances of internet censorship in Peru, and VPNs are not banned either.

Philippines

VPNs are definitely legal in the Philippines, and there have been no cases of internet censorship or surveillance, in fact “the Philippines is the only Southeast Asian country with a ‘free’ internet grade”.

If you would like to learn more about the internet in the Philippines and what VPNs we recommend using there, see our article here.

Poland

The country is currently intending to find out more about internet users who attempts to or actually access illegal websites by requiring ISPs to report on these attempts. It further raises concerns about Poland’s internet freedom. VPNs are currently legal in the country.

Learn more about VPNs for Poland and the country’s approach to internet here.

Portugal

There are no reports of internet restriction or surveillance in Portugal, and VPNs are legal to use.

Qatar

Using a VPN is legal in Qatar. Although, the country censored popular apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, and others in last October.

Learn more about Qatar’s internet issues and the best VPN providers for the country in our article here.

Romania

There have been no reported cases of internet censorship or surveillance, and VPNs are legal to use in Romania.

To learn more about the best VPNs to use in the country, check out our article about the 5 best VPNs for Romania.

Rwanda

RwandaRwanda has experienced instances of censoring independent online media sites. 

VPNs, however, are allowed in the country.

In short, the average person shouldn't be worried.

Though, citizens should be wary for the future.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Saint Lucia

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Saint Lucia.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Samoa

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Samoa.

San Marino

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in San Marino.

Sao Tome and Principe

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Sao Tome and Principe.

Senegal

The internet is unrestricted in Senegal according to this Freedom House report, and it seems that VPN use is legal as well.

Serbia

SerbiaSerbia’s government has a tendency to tamper with the country’s online activity as they hire trolls to “set the agenda”

The government has also conducted censorship in the past. 

VPNs are legal to use, fortunately.

Seychelles

According to this report there have been precedents of online censorship and surveillance in the country, mainly for political reasons. VPNs are legal in the Seychelles.

Sierra Leone

Sierra LeoneThere have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Sierra Leone.

Singapore

There has been precedent of shutting down political websites, and the country’s internet is highly restricted, but VPN use is legal in Singapore.

If you want to learn more about the internet in Singapore and see which VPNs are the best to use in the country, don’t miss out on our article here.

Slovakia

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Slovakia.

Slovenia

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. 

VPNs are also legal to use in Slovenia.

Solomon Islands

There have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country. VPNs are also legal to use in Solomon Islands.

Somalia

Somalia has had precedents of shutting down news websites and restricting online media in general. VPNs, however, remain legal for now.

South Africa

Using a VPN is legal in South Africa, and there have been no reported instances of internet censorship or surveillance in this country.

If you want to know which VPNs we recommend to use in SA, check out our article about the five best VPNs for the country here.

South Korea

Internet use is clearly high in the country, but internet freedom has been on the decline in the past few years.

VPNs are allowed to use in the country, and if you’re interested in knowing more about what VPNs we recommend for SK, see our article about the five best here.

South Sudan

There have been precedents of internet censorship in the past as the government blocked several websites that it deemed inappropriate because of “subversive content”. VPNs are legal to use in the country.

Spain

Spain had a memorable instance of practicing online censorship as it blocked internet access during the Catalonian Referendum back in October 2017. But Spain doesn’t necessarily belong to the list of repressive countries, internet use is widespread and not restricted. They also allow using VPNs.

If you want to learn more about the internet in Spain and the VPNs that we found to be the best to use in the country, then check our article here.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has recently made headlines due to blocking social media sites in order to reduce violence, but other than that the internet is not restricted in the country. VPNs are also allowed to use.

See the five best VPNs you can use in Sri Lanka to protect your privacy.

Sudan

The country practices censorship to a certain extent, and the overall classification of the country is not free according to the Freedom House report. VPNs are legal, though.

Suriname

You can legally use VPNs in the country. 41% of the population uses the internet, and the infrastructure is best in urban areas. Also, Suriname has had no reported incidents of censorship or surveillance.

Swaziland

There is censorship to some extent in Swaziland, especially regarding opposition media, and any content that the government deems illegal or harmful. VPN use is allowed in Swaziland.

Sweden

Sweden lands among countries like Estonia and Finland when it comes to internet censorship, meaning there is basically no online censorship or surveillance in the country. VPNs are also allowed to use, and if you want to learn more about which is the best for your privacy, see our exhaustive list here.

Switzerland

There are currently no reports of internet censorship or surveillance in the country. VPNs are also allowed, and you can check out our article here about the best VPN providers for Switzerland.

Syria

The war-stricken country has had several instances of internet shutdown, connection disruption, and a slow connection. There are also several political websites that are blocked. VPNs are not illegal in the country.

If you want to find out more about Syria's internet and which VPN is the best to use there, don't miss out on our article here.

Taiwan

TaiwanTaiwan is entirely free from online censorship or surveillance of netizens. It also perfectly legal to use a VPN in the country.

United States of America (USA)

It is definitely legal to use a VPN in the country. But there have been several instances of secret online surveillance by the government and it most likely will continue in the future. There is also a new law that sparked controversy regarding freedom of speech, and many voiced criticism about it.

If you're interested in more about US internet and want to know which VPN is best to use in the country, see our article here.

Written by: Peter Selmeczy

Peter is a full-time tech enthusiast and gadget geek. When not working, you'll find him playing with Lego or tinkering away on an RPi.

2 Comments

  1. Louis Coleman
    on July 18, 2018
    Reply

    VPN is a beneficial use personally or socially. The usage of it is illegal if used in various harmful and truly against the law. It only depend on the people itself if they will use it in a not so good way.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Louis Coleman
      on July 18, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Louis, Almost everywhere it is breaking the law that is breaking the law. Not using a VPN to do it.

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