I frequently have students traveling out-of-country (USA) sometime during the term and asking if they will be able to access their courses while overseas. I suspect many of you experience this also, or frequently travel out-of-country yourselves.
Today, some young student posted a similar inquiry specific to Indonesia in Find Answers, which I answered. The great Stefanie Sanders asked if I might post my response in a general informational way to help others who might have the same question, and I thought this was a great idea.
Our world is quite volatile, so I would greatly appreciate my fellow Community members updating this information when they learn something new.
Some general recommendations:
- We must accommodate military personnel deployed outside our instructional area to the best of our ability,
- Some military deployments will restrict internet activity and electronic communications for security reasons.
- Most overseas military bases and most Navy vessels provide internet access, barring any security restrictions,
- Some countries and some areas of some countries may experience slow, unreliable internet access with limited bandwidth, so our students in those areas may not be able to upload and download large files, and
- Some countries are not at all internet-friendly.
Internet Unfriendly Countries:
- North Korea. All websites are under government control. About 4% of the population has Internet
- Burma. Authorities filter e-mails and block access to sites of groups that expose human rights violations or disagree with the government. Which would likely include sites that still refer to Myanmar as "Burma".
- Cuba. Internet available only at government controlled "access points." Activity online is monitored through IP blocking, keyword filtering and browsing history checking. Only pro-government users may upload content.
- Saudi Arabia. Around 400,000 sites have been blocked, including any that discuss political, social or religious topics incompatible with the Islamic beliefs of the monarchy.
- Iran. Bloggers must register at the Ministry of Art and Culture. Those that express opposition to the mullahs who run the country are harassed and jailed.
- China. China has the most rigid censorship program in the world. The government filters searches, block sites and erases "inconvenient" content, rerouting search terms on Taiwan independence or the Tiananmen Square massacre to items favorable to the Communist Party.
- Syria. Bloggers who "jeopardize national unity" are arrested. Cybercafes must ask all customers for identification, record time of use and report the information to authorities.
- Tunisia. Tunisian Internet service providers must report to the government the IP addresses and personal information of all bloggers. All traffic goes through a central network. The government filters all content uploaded and monitors e-mails.
- Vietnam. The Communist Party requires Yahoo, Google and Microsoft to divulge data on all bloggers who use their platforms. It blocks websites critical of the government, as well as those that advocate for democracy, human rights and religious freedom.
- Turkmenistan. The only Internet service provider is the government. It blocks access to many sites and monitors all e-mail accounts in Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail.
Because of US Law, Canvas products are restricted in some countries, and you can learn more at Which countries are restricted from using Canvas? This may or may not mean that you or your students can or cannot access the internet and your USA based Canvas courses from the countries listed there.
I hope that you find this information useful, that you will pass it on to your traveling students, and that you will contribute to this discussion when you learn something new.