The good old US of A is often touted as a bastion of free speech and a place where even the lowliest of society have a voice. However, while this is mostly the case regarding certain civil liberties, they still exercise caution regarding the internet. While the arguments for and against this are far beyond the scope of this article (and perhaps better suited to a Twitter exchange with Elon), the fact remains that some online activities are explicitly banned in the USA. I will take you on a brief exploration of but a few in order to educate you and provide you with perhaps new knowledge.
Unregulated Casino Establishments
Although you might believe the land of Sin City and Atlantic City to be relatively laissez-faire about gambling, it retains an exceptionally strict stranglehold on the regulation and, therefore, the proliferation of online gambling. While this is generally acceptable, it has also led to some legitimate casinos falling through the regulatory gaps.
For example, Stek is one of the most popular online casinos worldwide, but it remains illegal to access if you reside in the States (and a handful of other nations like the UK). Nevertheless, with a bit of technical expertise and an understanding of what a Stake VPN can do for your attempts at playing in this fabled casino, you can skirt the block and play to your heart’s content. However, you should be aware that this might be illegal, and you can use this tip at your own risk.
Child Sexual Abuse Material
It should really go without saying, but any content that involves explicit content related to underage children is quite rightly banned. While local and national governments do their best to block this abhorrent content, it can still appear in even the most innocuous places. This means the onus is on you to avoid anything suspicious like the plague and report it to a relevant authority who can investigate it further.
While many free speech advocates are vocal about intrusion into their personal lives, most should agree that this is a necessary step that exists to protect the most vulnerable within our society. Nevertheless, most of this disgusting activity tends to occur in locations often opaque to the long arm of the law, such as the deep web, which can be accessed via platforms such as Tor. However, while a lot of illicit activity undoubtedly occurs inside the so-called deep web, it isn’t all doom and gloom and can be used to bypass illegitimate restrictions (however you refer to illegitimate is up to your own predilections).
The Spread Of Terrorist Ideologies And Hate Speech
The US is a tad touchy about the topic of terrorism but with just cause. Not only are they regularly targeted by international actors looking to harm Americans, but they suffer a disproportionate amount of domestic terrorism when compared with other advanced nations. This can be seen in the unbelievable number of mass shootings, often perpetrated by individuals with severe mental health issues or significant chips on their shoulders. Whatever their reasons for their actions, it has caused the government to crack down on various forms of hate speech and discussions sympathetic to terrorism. While you can debate the extent to which they have taken action, it remains that if you are caught creating, spreading, or even just reading such content, you could find your door getting bashed in by an angry FBI agent in the middle of the night!
Breaches Of Intellectual Property Rights
If there’s one thing the US government hates almost as much as terrorism, it’s IP theft. With the advent of the power struggle currently playing between the US and China, they have seriously stepped up their efforts in blocking anything involving the sale or purchase of IP. For the average consumer, this means being unable to access websites like The Pirate Bay et al. However, it also means restricting access to any website, forum, or online location that even hints at serving stolen IP to willing buyers. If caught frolicking through their list of banned sites, you can expect to face substantial penalties ranging from bankruptcy-inducing fines to hefty jail time.
Harassment Or Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying has unfortunately proliferated in the past decade, in part thanks to the widespread adoption of social media. While it often seems like a losing battle, those caught harassing others can be held accountable for their actions and sentenced to whatever punishment is currently on the books.
Bonus: Tik Tok!
While it seems unlikely the USA will ban this contender for the fastest-growing social media platform and scourge of random passersby worldwide, it could happen, and if so, those who regularly use it for business or fun will have to find ways to bypass the ban.
Needless to say, the US isn’t quite the champion of free speech as most might believe. Although some bans are perfectly acceptable, others are more questionable and might involve the use of technology to circumvent them.