Once again, Turkey has blocked major social media websites in an effort to quell public speech after a major public issue. This time it’s the assassination of the Russian Ambassador for Turkey, Andrei Karlov.
People in Turkey were unable to access Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp the day after the attack. Turkey Blocks, a website that monitors internet access within the country reported that users were expecting slowdowns and issues with accessing the sites.
These restrictions came live only hours after the assassination. An off-duty policeman shot and killed the Russian ambassador to the country who was on an art exhibition opening in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
This isn’t the first time social media services have been blocked, and it certainly won’t be the last. We’ve seen Turkey block social media websites during almost every major public issue happening in the last few years. Only last November Turkey blocked social media websites after the detention of pro-Kurdish leaders.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim has adressed the issue, but admitted nothing: “”from time to time for security reasons we can use such measures” essentially saying that that it’s necessary for Turkey to implement internet control in times of “need”. He rationalizes that blocking these websites is for the safety of the population and that such measures are temporary.
Turkish users have been circumventing the blocks by using VPNs, but a lot of VPNs have now been banned in Turkey including other security tools like the Tor network. This move shocked activists, journalists, and security advocates in Turkey and around the world.
“Partial or total blocking of VPN, Tor and similar services will shift Turkey’s internet censorship regime from moderate to severe in character,” said Turkey Blocks, “allowing the state fine-grained control of the flow of information in a ‘walled garden’ model of internet access like that imposed by China’s Great Firewall.”
If you want to gain uncensored and encrypted internet access within countries like Turkey or China, rest assured that TorGuard VPN services will work!