According to the latest research by information technology consulting firm Comparitech, Turkmenistan is among the ten countries with the most strictest Internet censorship.
According to this study, North Korea is the first among the countries with the strictest Internet censorship. The authors of the rating gave this country ten points out of ten. China came in second with nine points. And the third place was shared by Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan is one of the countries where the blocking of social networks is absolute. All popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte, and others, as well as messengers such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram, have long been blocked in Turkmenistan. The only messenger that is still not blocked there is Imo.
Besides, the sites of Radio Azatlyk and other independent news outlets are blocked as well. The list of prohibited Internet resources includes almost all social networks, sites of a number of world media outlets, as well as popular file-sharing services.
Turkmenistan spends a lot of money buying equipment and expertise abroad to ban Internet sources and track citizens' activity on the Internet. The Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan uses the equipment and expertise of the German company Rohde & Schwarz to block Internet sites and spy on its own citizens.
One of the leading Turkmen service providers, along with Rohde & Schwarz, is the state-owned company Turkmentelecom, the country's only Internet provider. By closing access to Google clouds, Turkmentelecom thus deprived users of access to other resources that also use cloud data storage services.
Turkmenistan also holds the record for the world's slowest Internet. The Central Asian country has the lowest Internet speed among 179 countries in the world, according to a report from SpeedTest published in May this year.