Turkey Restricts Facebook, Twitter, Skype, WhatsApp And YouTube Access

By Zt Gimotea , Nov 04, 2016 10:38 AM EDT

Turkey has apparently placed restrictions on access to a number of social media and messaging services. This is based on a report by independent digital transparency group TurkeyBlocks.

In the early hours of Friday, Nov. 4, TurkeyBlocks' network monitor detected access restrictions to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, which seems to a be repeat of Turkey's internet restriction in July. This time, however, access to Instagram, along with messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype, have also been restricted.

According to Turkish internet monitoring group's investigations, ISP throttling has been identified as the culprit for why the aforementioned services are unusable. TurkeyBlocks adds that this is experienced by users all over the country. "The shutdown was first detected on national provider TTNet, Turkcell and subsequently on other major ISPs, with users of UyduNet and other smaller providers not yet affected at the time of writing," reported TurkeyBlocks.

Suppressing Media Coverage Using Internet Restrictions

 TurkeyBlocks believes that this access restriction is connected to the reported detention of HDP parliament members. Bear in mind that the HDP is an opposition and pro-Kurdish political party.

As mentioned, a similar incident in which access to social media services was blocked was observed in July. An attempted coup was taking place during the social media blackout.

TurkeyBlocks speculates that this kind of censorship is implemented on short notice in order to prevent social unrest. Needless to say, suppressed media coverage during these incidents allows the governing body better control when it comes to information and the narrative that it relays.

How To Bypass Internet Access Restrictions

According to TurkeyBlocks, VPN tunnels prove to be effective in terms of circumventing Turkish ISP throttling. For the uninitiated, a VPN or virtual private network creates a tunnel protocol that acts as a conduit for the information packets to pass through prior to creating a security layer, which prevents intrusions.

As an added layer of protection, data passing through the VPN tunnels are also encrypted. Think of the encryptions as a really dark window tint of a car. People will see the car running down a highway but will not know who or what's inside. Likewise, ISPs will see packets of data to and from an IP address but will not know what those packets contain.

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