News / Middle East

Turkey's Twitter Ban Backfires as Millions Find Workarounds

A photo posted on Twitter apparently shows a Google DNS server spray painted into a building in Turkey. (Via <a href="https://twitter.com/gulayozkan/status/446959549497356288/photo/1">Twitter</a>)
A photo posted on Twitter apparently shows a Google DNS server spray painted into a building in Turkey. (Via Twitter)

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The Turkish government’s attempt to block Twitter has largely backfired, analysts and social media watchers say.

Not even a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the social media service would be “eradicated” from the country, Turks were still actively tweeting by the millions through a variety of workarounds.

A Turkish website, Zete.com, said 2.5 million tweets had been posted since the ban, reportedly setting traffic records in Turkey.

Twitter has a reported 10 million users in Turkey, and the popularity of the site has grown “rapidly during last summer’s Gezi Park protests with people using it to share views and receive information not reflected in the mainstream media with close business links to the authorities,” according to Amnesty International.

The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey was trending globally as free-speech supporters around the world voiced their concerns.

According to Doug Madory, an analyst with Renesys, an Internet intelligence company based in Manchester, New Hampshire, a Turkish activist contacted the firm requesting data on the blockage.

Renesys said there was Domain Name Service (DNS) poisoning “from some (not all) DNS servers in Turkey."  DNS is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses.

DNS poisoning is used to block users from certain addresses. In essence it scrambles the numbers during the process of converting a website name into IP numbers, sending people to the wrong website.

Renesys said international DNS servers such as Google (8.8.8.8) did not seem to be impacted.

“This should be easily circumvented by Turkish users,” Renesys said.

The Google DNS address was reportedly spray painted on a building in Turkey.

Another method to circumvent the blockage has been to use Twitter’s SMS – mobile phone messaging - service.

Turks can also get around the blockage using a virtual private network or using Tor, a service which hides your location and browsing habits.

The Turkish telecommunications authority said access would be restored when Twitter removes "illegal content," referring to audio recordings that spread across social media which appeared to put Erdogan in the center of a corruption scandal.

European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said Friday that being free to communicate and freely choosing the means of communication is a "fundamental EU value."

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kores criticized the Twitter ban as "groundless, pointless, cowardly."

“The decision to block Twitter is an unprecedented attack on internet freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey in a statement.

“The draconian measure, brought under Turkey’s restrictive internet law, shows the lengths the government is prepared to go to prevent anti-government criticism.” Kores said.

The White House is urging Turkey to restore access to Twitter.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the U.S. has conveyed its "serious concern'' to the Turkish government.

The U.S. State Department also slammed the ban.

"An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of democratic, open societies, and crucial to ensuring official transparency and accountability,” a State Department statement said. “Democracies are strengthened by the diversity of public voices.”

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Comments
     
by: baber from: brampton
March 21, 2014 8:59 PM
Huh social media is fitna.see same thing happening every wher and every nation is not. In peace now .o muslims remember the teachings of PROPHET PBUH ...your rizk is given by God .dont beg other than Allah. Respect ur rulers or wait till the time of elections .even if u have a bsd ruler should hold islam and dont do killing.see what happen in iraq sham.egypt no threre is civil war.please be patience dont beleave on vedios .one eye media.beleave Quran .make ur emaan. Stronger.turn to Allah.no fear


by: Ariely Shein from: Jerusalem
March 21, 2014 2:52 PM
yi şanslar türkiye
_____-


Erdugan is using the democratic system to change Turkey into an Islamist state-
1: Erdugan declaration:
*" democracy is like a train. You take it where you have to go, and then you get off"
Remember; Islamist states are anti democracy&gt;
Example: Islamist Iran constitution
2:Turkey in international index reports:
*The democracy index shows:
in 2002 Turkey scored 7 points out of 7,making it a “limited democratic regime”.
In 2012 and 2013, Turkey dropped to only 3 points.
*The press freedoms index:
In 2002 Turkey was 99th out of 139 countries&gt;
By 2013 Turkey had fallen to 154th place out of 179 countries.
3:In January 2014-Turkish counter-terrorism police have raided the offices of IHH, in an operation against suspected links to al-Qaeda.
* Erdugan supports and is supported the Turkish IHH organization which supports
international terror.
*Danish Institute for international Studies:
IHH is connected to Al Qaeda.In IHH offices Explosives,terror instruction
manuals, weapons and Improvised explosive documents have been founded.
*French intelligence report:
IHH transfers firearms and money to Islamist terrorists to shelter apartments
in various EU countries.
IHH produce false documents which facilitated travel by Islamist terrorists.
*IHH was connected to the Islamist terror attack attempt at Los Angeles
Airport.
*IHH has sent several convoys to Islamist terrorists in Iraq Fallujiah
4: Erdugan said that Hamas, Hisbullah terror organizations are his sister parties and he supports those terrorists&gt;
*” we consider the assassination of Bin Laden an Arab holy warrior" –said by Hamas leader
*Hamas charter:"The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims kill the Jews

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