Friday, March 21, 2014

Little blue bird, zindabad

It seems up-rooting of social media as promised by the Caliph of Istanbul is a bit easier said than done. Better luck next time, old chap.


...Turkey's attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government.

Turkey's telecommunications authority confirmed early Friday that it had blocked access to the social media network hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "rip out the roots'' of the website. Tweets have proliferated with links to recordings that appear to incriminate him and other top officials in corruption.

By midday Friday, tweets were continuing unabated as users swapped instructions online on how to change settings. One enterprising user spread the word by defacing Turkish election posters with instructions on beating censors.

President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of Erdogan's, was among those who circumvented the order, which he contested in a series of tweets. "I hope this implementation won't last long," he wrote.

"Prime Minister Erdogan's move spells the lengths he will go to censor the flood of politically damaging wiretap recordings circulating on social media,'' said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Andrew Przybylski, a researcher at Britain's Oxford Internet Institute said the ban appeared to be working through the Domain Name System or DNS blocking, which was easy to work around.

He said many Twitter-hungry Turks manually changed the DNS settings on their computers and in their phones to point to Google's Domain Name System, which isn't affected by the ban.

Earlier, many users trying to access the network instead saw a notice from Turkey's telecommunications authority, citing four court orders.

Turkey's lawyers' association asked a court to overturn the ban, arguing it was unconstitutional and violated Turkish and European human rights laws. Turkey's main opposition party also applied for a cancellation.

Twitter's (at)policy account earlier sent out messages telling Turkish users in both English and Turkish they could send out tweets by using short message service, or "SMS." It was unclear how those tweets would be viewable.



regards