1. 2011

    Turkey update

    Last month I posted about an internet censorship/filtering plan proposed by the Turkish government. Well, despite what must be a fair amount of negative publicity, the plan is still in place; Turkey plans to put the internet filter in place on August 22 as originally scheduled.

    Now this has attracted the attention of Anonymous, the “global hacker collective” (for lack of a better term). Anonymous is essentially the online equivalent of either freedom fighters or terrorists, depending on who you ask (obviously, I tend to prefer the former description). It’s not an organized group, rather it’s more like a flash mob: a large number of people who spontaneously cooperate to accomplish some task. Anyway, the point is, if they get mad at you, you’re kind of forced to sit up and pay attention.

    Anonymous used a DDoS attack (I believe) to overload the servers running the TIB website. Although that doesn’t really accomplish much by itself, it does show the Turkish government that they’ve made some powerful enemies in cyberspace. As much as I hope they’ll reconsider after this, I’m not too optimistic.

  2. 2011

    Internet censorship and you

    There’s a movement going around on Facebook to bring attention to a plan by the Turkish government to begin filtering internet access within the country. As of August 22, internet service providers in Turkey will be required to make their users choose one of four access plans, each corresponding to a blacklist of websites that will be blocked. For example, the “domestic” plan will block international websites, and “children” will presumably block anything considered to be inappropriate for kids (pornography and such). But the exact blacklists will be maintained by the BTK (Turkish Information Technologies Board, or something like that), and will not be made public. So the government can theoretically add any website to the blacklists, thereby using them to suppress political opposition or whatever they want, and nobody will know. Any time a government agency gets power without explicit accountability like this, there’s a high potential for abuse and people should be concerned. Even if most government workers are really just trying to do what’s best for their country, how much do you trust that everyone who ever works in the information technologies agency will be able to resist the temptation to go too far …