Once hailed as a bastion of free speech, the internet is increasingly falling under the grip of state censors worldwide. China is purging dissent. India is silencing its critics. And Canada’s Liberals recently made changes to a bill that will allow authorities to control the content that people post to sites like YouTube. Trudeau is coming for your cat videos, and putting your free expression at risk. Following Chinese director Chloé Zhao’s Oscar wins on Sunday, social media in China was flooded with congratulatory messages. Within hours, Chinese censors had scrubbed most comments about Zhao’s Academy Awards from the internet, due to some unflattering statements she made about her homeland in the past. But that’s China, a country that has for decades maintained a sophisticated surveillance and censorship apparatus that allows it to block any criticism of the country’s Communist leadership. Unfortunately, the democratic world can no longer look down on dictatorships like China, because our governments are increasingly taking pages from the authoritarian playbook, using the internet to keep a watchful eye on the population and censoring opinions that are critical of those in power.