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Tor Network Blocked In Turkey As Government Cracks Down

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

The move has upgraded Turkey’s net censorship policies from “moderate” to “severe,” according to activists

The Turkish government has blocked access to browsing network The Onion Router (also known as Tor) nationwide as part of a wider crackdown on freedom of speech and anonymity online.

According to Turkey Blocks, the group that monitors web censorship in the country, its research showed that access to Tor was being widely blocked across the region, suggesting that Internet service providers (ISPs) are complying with the government’s demands.

Internet censorship, filtering © Brian A Jackson, Shutterstock 2014

Access denied

The group said that ISPs were first ordered to start blocking Tor and other Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in early December and the government has since started asking for regular updates to further increase the pressure on companies.

However, users have still been able to access the network by using a bridge, an unofficial entry point which isn’t listed in the software itself so can still provide a route in even when blocks are enforced.

Activists said that the block upgrades Turkey’s censorship policies from “moderate” to “severe,” moving it into the same group as the likes of China which also imposes strict internet regulations to keep an eye on users.

This isn’t the first time Turkey has made life difficult for Internet users in the country. Earlier this year it blocked access to several major cloud service providers including Dropbox and Google Drive and has also previously blocked sites including Twitter and YouTube in an effort to prevent the spread of sensitive documents or recordings.

Russia also got in on the act recently, blocking access to LinkedIn after the company supposedly breached the country’s data protection regulations.

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