This study investigates prevailing restrictions on Internet diffusion through blocking of websites across five categories in diverse country domains. A website block finder (WBF) application is used to provide a snapshot view on Internet filtering imposed through government regulations across ten countries, namely Canada, China, France, Germany, Iran, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and USA. The five categories selected for this study are religion, political, news channels, entertainment and social networking. The WBF performs a domain name server lookup and searches for websites which are identified by their IP addresses by following related linked URLs to inform whether websites belonging to that category have been blocked or not within that country’s domain. Findings reveal that no blocking restrictions existed among the identified categories in four countries (Canada, New Zealand, Turkey and USA), but varying degrees of restrictions have been applied in the remaining six countries (China, France, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE) at the time the WBF application was run. The study provides a snapshot view on website restrictions within the selected categories and raises awareness on prevailing regulations imposed on Internet diffusion in the ever-increasing complex global environment.
Mathrani, Anuradha and Alipour, Massoud, "Website Blocking Across Ten Countries: A Snapshot" (2010). PACIS 2010 Proceedings. 152.