Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The continuing cat and mouse game between the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish users of the social networking site Twitter shows the desire for control of information and the historical drive to circumvent it.
After pledging to “wipe out Twitter,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered Turkish ISPs to block the social networking site, redirecting requests to a government webpage. But that move, which used a change in the Domain Name Service hosted by network providers in Turkey, was quickly circumvented by Twitter users through the use of alternative DNS servers. DNS servers basically match domain names such as example.com with their core Internet Protocol Addresses for which websites are addressed under the surface to most users. By controlling the DNS servers in Turkey by forced banning of the twitter.com name, Turkish DNS servers redirect traffic to an IP address of a government website rather than the official twitter.com website.The social media campaign against Erdoğan has continued to grow despite the government’s best effort, and even more Turks are flocking to Twitter as a result of the federal censorship. Immediately following the ban, Twitter usage in Turkey rose 138 percent.
But now the government has raised the bar of the attack, ordering Turkish Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block traffic to the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses assigned to Twitter. This move essentially erases Twitter from the Internet within Turkey—at least to those people who don’t have access to SMS messaging, a foreign virtual private network or Web proxy service, or the Tor anonymizing network.
“We can confirm that Turkey is now blocking the IP addresses of Twitter after the previous DNS blocking technique proved ineffective,” said Doug Madory, of the Internet monitoring company Renesys, in an e-mail to Ars. A Turkish government webpage shows that there is an IP address block order in effect for 188.8.131.52, the primary IP address for twitter.com.
What this means is that despite the Turkish Government banning the core IP address to residents of Turkey, who are being subjected to restrictions on the internet network in Turkey, twitter users are using methods to tunnel through to outside servers that connect with Twitter. This forces the Turkish Government to then attempt to ban all connections to virtual server IP addresses outside Turkey, which is impossible.
The effort by Prime Minister Erdoğan certainly is not having the effect he had hoped for.
By Darren Smith
Photo Credit, Internet Messenger: Dr. Avishai Teicher
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