updated 08:32 pm EDT, Sun March 23, 2014
DNS ban thwarts Turkish citizen workaround of Twitter blockade
Turkey is actively blocking access to Google's DNS service, in order to keep Twitter and allegations of corruption blocked off from the country's citizens. Following its ban of the micro-blogging platform a few days ago, the move is an attempt to thwart efforts by Twitter users from accessing the service via a workaround, though this too may soon be temporarily thwarted.
Shortly after Twitter was "wiped out" by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government, Internet users in the country worked to try and get around the ban. A text messaging version of the service was available to use, with some reports claiming graffiti in the area started to appear with the 126.96.36.199 Google DNS and the 188.8.131.52 alternative, in an effort to keep lines of communication open. Reuters reports that users in Turkey found the IP addresses blocked on Saturday morning, though an alternative DNS setting is apparently being spread.
The original block followed numerous court orders against Twitter to remove "illegal" links and content, orders Twitter effectively opted not to carry out. The Turkish government has suggested to Twitter that it would lift the ban if the service agreed to block content when ordered by Turkish courts, and to nominate a representative in the country.
The country has come under scrutiny by various governments following the Twitter ban, and the potential ban of other social networks in the future. In a statement received by TechCrunch, The White House revealed it is "deeply concerned" by the blockade, stating "We oppose this restriction on the Turkish people's access to information, which undermines their ability to exercise freedoms of expression and association and runs contrary to the principles of open governance that are critical to democratic governance and the universal rights that the United States stands for around the world."
YouTube could be the next target for a block, as the Wall Street Journal reports Google has ignored requests to remove videos from the service alleging corruption. Sources of the report claim Google feels an "immediate threat" of a ban of YouTube, while an official statement from the company reads "We support a free and open Internet throughout the world and are concerned whenever and wherever it comes under threat." YouTube was previously blocked in the country between 2008 and 2010 for hosting videos considered by the Turkish government to be insulting to the country's founder.