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Mar 21 2014

Twitter blocked in Turkey; activists graffiti alternate DNS workaround

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has instated a ban of Twitter ostensibly over concerns that it hosts pornography, but from all appearances actually in response to repeated leaks of damning recordings of government officials.

However, the way that the ban is implemented is very rudimentary — the government has forced all ISPs in the country to remove twitter.com from their DNS servers.

In response to this ban, activists have been graffitiing Google’s DNS servers:

Graffiti on a turkish wall reading 'DNS: 8.8.8.8 Alternatif: 8.8.4.4'

Picture obtained here, can’t find the original source — if you do, let me know.

It’s not clear how long this workaround will last, but there are other avenues. One could, for instance, switch DNS to OpenNIC, or if changing DNS no longer provides enough of a workaround and these ISPs are forced by the government to shut down all traffic to Twitter’s servers, then you could instead connect to Tor or some other anonymizing VPN or proxy service.

When people complain that they’re being silenced for being blocked or moderated on a blog, I have to laugh — that’s not in any way an abrogation of your freedom of speech. Having all access to the internet cut off by a totalitarian government, on the other hand, is most decidedly one, and is most decidedly something we all must fight.

2 comments

  1. 1
    John Horstman

    There’s something very cyberpunk about graffiti of DNS server addresses; I love it. Also, Fight for the Future is running an emergency fundraiser to try to get key activists and journalists in Turkey VPN proxies (being supplied by the ever-excellent, takes-your-privacy-even-more-seriously-than-you Private Internet Access at half price): https://unblockturkey.fightforthefuture.org/fight-censorship-and-spying-in-turkey

  2. 2
    Kaveh Mousavi

    We Iranians have been behind such a wall for a long time – everyone has mastered proxies. Facebook, Twitter, all sites using WordPress (including this one), and for some reason I can’t fathom, all the gaming sites are filtered. If you’re Turkish and reading this comment, ask your Iranian friends, they know how to bypass walls.

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