The level of online censorship in Turkmenistan, ranked 178th out of 180 countries in the 2015 press freedom index, is what you would expect from its extremely authoritarian regime. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has himself called “Arkagad” (Protective Father), protects his people so well from outside influences that barely 10 percent had access to the Internet in 2013. These pioneers surf a highly censored version dubbed the “Turkmenet” and have to show ID to visit an Internet café. State-owned TurkmenTelekom’s monopoly of Internet access makes a connection prohibitively expensive for most people. It also gives the regime full control over online content because TurkmenTelekom owns the only point of access to the World Wide Web and blocks all sites that its masters want censored. The criteria determining what is blocked are secret but they must be very broad because so many sites are inaccessible. They include most independent and foreign news websites and even the main blog platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and other Internet giants are also often blocked.

Turkmenistan is ranked #178 over 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.