Turkey

Turkey’s Internet Censorship Runs Up Against Control Freak-Resistant Technology

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Tor
Tor Project

Turkey's government clamped down on social media to restrict access to information officials find inconvenient. It even cut access to DNS servers belonging to major Internet companies, such as Google, after people found end-running the blocks so easy the Hurriyet Daily News referred to the restrictions on Twitter and YouTube as "one the most ineffective bans of history." But Turkish officials can't change the fact that the Internet and related technology specifically evolved to evade restriction and control.

Tor technology, which helps users evade tracking, share data, and access forbidden websites, is once again proving a popular means for online users to tell government officials to get stuffed. Sure enough, Turkey's government blocked the official Tor Project website in hopes of limiting the spread of the technology, but hey, we're talking about the Internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundation hosts one mirror of the Tor Browser Bundle and points the way to others.

For users in Turkey who have already downloaded the Tor Browser Bundle, censorship circumvention should continue without a hitch. And for the users who have not yet done so, it's not too late. The Tor project's website has many mirrors—copies of the website hosted at other locations—that make the Browser Bundle available.

EFF hosts its own mirror at https://tor.eff.org/.

Some other mirrors include:

https://tor.spline.inf.fu-berlin.de/

https://tor.myrl.net/

https://www.tor.lu/

https://tor.crazyhaze.de/

Supporters of censorship circumvention can run their own mirrors by following Tor's instructions.

Innovation, frustrating one dumbass politician at a time. Well, bunches of them at a time, on occasion.

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57 responses to “Turkey’s Internet Censorship Runs Up Against Control Freak-Resistant Technology

  1. I’d be happier if local elections hadn’t produced a solid endorsement of Erdogan’s nascent dictatorship. Turkey needs another coup and the Turkish people require a pro-freedom dictatorship.

    1. So long as the American govt is not somehow involved in its orchestration, support, or mobilization I am fine with that.

    2. What if they don’t want freedom?

      “Political tags ? such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth ? are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

      -Heinlein

      Maybe there aren’t many surly curmudgeons among Turkish voters.

      1. Have you ever met any Turks? Surly curmudgeons, suspicious, and lack in altruism? Under Heinlein’s deinfitions, Turkey ought to be libertopia.

            1. Yeah, he is.

              Good thing you were totally right about him.

              1. tarran – you know that was a ‘jk’ post, right?

                Interestingly, I used to mix him up with “kinnath”, who’s from Iowa. They are both engineers, though.

        1. But do those surly curmudgeons vote? That’s what matters.

        2. I am guessing the Kurds would say no.

  2. Am I the only one eagerly anticipating the “Bob Barr to seek LP nomination for POTUS”, “Koch Brothers to Build Libertopia on Recently Acquired Somali Island”, or sundry other April Fools’ headlines today?

  3. This is why Turkey can’t have anything nice.

    You know who else couldn’t have anything nice?

    1. Nazis. But eventually they got Nice… and Marseilles… and Paris.

      1. Actually, Nice, being on the mediterranian coast, was in Vichy France, so they only “Got” it as part of a client state.

        1. Though it appears Italy moved in and took the town too… everyone except the Nazis.

      1. Because there are no libertarian women?

  4. So a quick Wikipedia read tells me Tor is funded by the US state department. Can it really be trusted or am I overly paranoid?

    1. So a quick Wikipedia read tells me Tor is funded by the US state department.

      Uhm… really. Kayyyyy.

      1. From the wiki:

        Tor software is now developed by the Tor Project, which has been a 501(c)(3) research-education nonprofit organization [14] based in the United States of America [1] since December 2006. It has a diverse base of financial support;[13] the U.S. State Department, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the National Science Foundation are major contributors.[15] As of 2012, 80% of the Tor Project’s $2M annual budget comes from the United States government, with the Swedish government and other organizations providing the rest,[16] including NGOs and thousands of individual sponsors.[17]

    2. Anyone can edit wikipedia.

      Can you think of a better way to discourage the use of a network without overt effort?

      Of course, the claim could be valid, I don’t care enough to research it.

      1. The article didn’t mention the government in a discouraging manner, more in the light of tor is legit, the gov approves. I was mainly reading to see how Tor works because I’m not familiar with it and happened to notice the funding.

      2. The article didn’t mention the government in a discouraging manner, more in the light of tor is legit, the gov approves. I was mainly reading to see how Tor works because I’m not familiar with it and happened to notice the funding.

      3. From Tor’s website. They are funded by the state dept.

        https://www.torproject.org/about/sponsors.html.en

      4. It’s true, no April Fools. State Dep wanted a way to communicate with dissidents in oppressive regimes without getting them killed.

    3. Show me something that doesn’t get some sort of government funding.

      See? You didn’t build that!

      1. Sure, but 80% seems too high to not get something in return.

  5. When I was in Bolivia in the mid-eighties we had the only maps around. Maps were illegal to possess there. They probably still are. It really made no difference because the Bolivians who saw our maps had no clue what they were or how to read them. Jesus, that seems like yesterday and today I am sure zillions of kids in Bolivia pore over google earth.

    1. Why would maps be illegal? That’s just strange.

      1. Yeah. I tried googling it and came up empty. What gives?

        1. Ditto.

      2. I think the USSR banned maps to keep people lost and unable to go places. Don’t want to get lost in the Siberian waste.

        1. Googling that came up empty as well. I could see controlling map content, but banning them entirely? I find that difficult to believe absent more than a rumor as evidence.

          1. Maps were a strict control item in the Warsaw Pact – spies, wreckers, saboteurs, etc.

      3. Because people might use them for military (rebellion) purposes.

        You can’t fight the army if you don’t know where it is.

        1. That makes some sense. Maps are critical for battle.

          1. All I need is a stick and some dirt.

    2. That’s funny, my best friend is from Bolivia (though he grew up in NYC), I’ll ask him if he knows if that’s still a thing there.

  6. Not quite as dramatic as the Internet raining phones from the sky. But the internet is pretty awesome about routing around natural or artificial failures. Feature, not bug.

      1. As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

        1. Best episode ever.

        2. I see Turkeys fly all the time.

          1. Me too. One of the funniest things I ever saw was a turkey roosting on top of a telephone pole at dawn.

          2. He was quoting the show.

          3. Watch the clip. It’s hilarious.

  7. Is Tor still compromised by the NSA? Or was that just one build?

    1. That was patched.

    2. It is mathematically possible to identify a user if you control enough off ramps and on ramps.

  8. It even cut access to DNS servers belonging to major Internet companies, such as Google, after people found end-running the blocks so easy

    8.8.8.8!

    Couldn’t you just add an IP address to one’s local HOSTS file for twitter?

    Having the direct IP was how everyone got to wikileaks after the judge tried clumsily to shutter it.

    1. Couldn’t you just add an IP address to one’s local HOSTS file for twitter?

      As long as the website doesn’t do anything fancy, yeah. So many websites now dynamically redirect and shit, I have no idea what it would look like if you tried to go anywhere by IP alone these days.

      1. If it is shared hosting, it won’t work. Gotta ask for the site by name.

  9. You Know Who Else tried to limit the communications of the Young Turks?

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