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Turkey’s Twitter takedown taken on by Turks and TOR

Spike in private browsing in response
Mon Mar 24 2014, 11:45
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TURKISH PRIME MINISTER Tayyip Erdogan's attempt to stifle Twitter has backfired and led to increased interest in Twitter and use of secure communications services in the country.

Prime minister Erdogan rounded on the social network at the end of last week in response to corruption allegations in the run-up to elections.

The government's action ensured that local ISPs did not route Turkish citizens to the social network, and instead they were routed to a nagging government webpage.

The decision was immediately criticised and workarounds were suggested. Twitter recommended a way around the block and promoted it.

Turkish President Abdullah Gü tweeted that blocking Twitter was technically impossible. "Blocking access to the platform used all round already technically impossible," he said. "[Only] by a court decision related pages can be turned off."

He said that he hoped Erdogan's block did not last for long, however he has not tweeted since 21 March.

Web software firm Renesys said that Turkey has upped the stakes and has started blocking Twitter's IP addresses at the ISP level through "several providers".

While many Turkish citizens have complained, others have suggested workarounds, and it seems that many Turkish citizens are using encrypted systems to continue communicating.

The TOR network has seen a significant spike in Turkish traffic. In the days since the block was announced the number of Turkish users has grown from 25,000 to over 40,000. µ


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