Other areas of censorship include copyrights, defamation, harassment, and obscene material.
Support for and opposition to Internet censorship also varies.
Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet enacted by regulators, or on their own initiative.
Individuals and organizations may engage in self-censorship for moral, religious, or business reasons, to conform to societal norms, due to intimidation, or out of fear of legal or other consequences.
According to Global Web Index, over 400 million people use virtual private networks to circumvent censorship or for increased level of privacy.
Many of the changes associated with Internet censorship are similar to those for offline censorship of more traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, books, music, radio, television, and film.
This in turn requires the use of technical censorship methods that are unique to the Internet, such as site blocking and content filtering.
Blocking and filtering can be based on relatively static blacklists or be determined more dynamically based on a real-time examination of the information being exchanged.
Nevertheless, regulations and accountability related to the use of commercial filters and services are often non-existent, and there is relatively little oversight from civil society or other independent groups.Nevertheless, blocking remains an effective means of limiting access to sensitive information for most users when censors, such as those in China, are able to devote significant resources to building and maintaining a comprehensive censorship system.Technical censorship techniques are subject to both over- and under-blocking since it is often impossible to always block exactly the targeted content without blocking other permissible material or allowing some access to targeted material and so providing more or less protection than desired.This is achieved by returning a fake "Not Found" error message when an attempt is made to access a blocked website.Unless the censor has total control over all Internet-connected computers, such as in North Korea (who employ an intranet that only privileged citizens can access), or Cuba, total censorship of information is very difficult or impossible to achieve due to the underlying distributed technology of the Internet.