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Turkish ISPs start hijacking Google domain name services

Social networking not working
Mon Mar 31 2014, 11:04

GOOGLE HAS ACCUSED Turkey of hijacking its domain name service (DNS) as part of the Turkish government's efforts to shut down social networking in the country.

Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan ordered blocks placed on the social network Twitter and Google's Youtube service last week. Now, Google claims, Turkish internet service providers (ISPs) are hijacking Google's DNS.

Google software engineer Steven Carstensen said that the firm was informed about the hijacking and was able to verify it. He said that Google's domain name service has been "intercepted by most Turkish ISPs".

Google is not pleased about this, but it might, like Twitter, choose to pursue legal redress. In the meantime it is not keen on what is happening to its users.

"Google operates DNS servers because we believe that you should be able to quickly and securely make your way to whatever host you're looking for, be it Youtube, Twitter, or any other," he said.

"But imagine if someone had changed out your phone book with another one, which looks pretty much the same as before, except that the listings for a few people showed the wrong phone number. That's essentially what's happened: Turkish ISPs have set up servers that masquerade as Google's DNS service."

In a report the networking outfit Renesys said that local incumbent Turktelecom is 'masquerading' as Google DNS and sending Turks in all sorts of directions.

"Under normal circumstances, such queries would have been destined for servers outside the country, which is how Turkish users were circumventing the ban on Youtube imposed earlier this week," it said. "However, now local users of these global DNS services are surreptitiously redirected to alternate providers within Turktelekom."

Twitter was blocked in Turkey on 22 March. It was joined by Youtube a week later. µ


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