Turkey has once again blocked access to social media in an apparent effort to keep a lid on protests; many in the capital and elsewhere are demonstrating following the arrest of a number of opposition leaders.
Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, and YouTube are reportedly blocked or at least being throttled to the point of inaccessibility, reported Turkey Blocks. The outage started late last night and seems to be ongoing.
The State Department has issued several warnings over the unrest in the country’s southeast and planned protests in Ankara today.
The government also blocked internet access entirely in some locations earlier this week for several days.
Are you in Turkey, or know someone who is? Here are some methods we collected last time to help get around these blocks.
Tor, short for “The Onion Router,” is a service that bounces your traffic around a network of anonymous servers so that it’s difficult to track. It’s free and easy to install, but because of how it works, it can be very slow and isn’t recommended for things like streaming live video.The easiest way to use Tor is by installing its browser bundle, which includes everything you need and is available for many operating systems.
Here is a guide to using Tor and Orbot, written in Turkish.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network routes your traffic through servers in other locations throughout the world, which is useful for getting around certain types of censorship or blockage. There are dozens of VPN providers, and TechCrunch doesn’t recommend any in particular — you may have to do a little research to find one that meets your needs and fits in your budget.
Some popular paid VPNs:
And free or ad-supported ones:
VPNs are a popular resource for Turkish citizens trying to access social media during a blackout: Hotspot Shield reported a 322% growth in new installs in Turkey within the first 2 hours of the reported coup.
Change your DNS
Blocking can be done at the Domain Name System level, meaning the service many ISPs provide that connects a website name (like facebook.com) with an IP address (like 184.108.40.206). Replacing your default DNS with another, like Google’s Public DNS or one from the OpenNIC project can get around this form of censorship.
Firechat is a good thing to have on your phone in case other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Line go offline. Firechat forms a peer-to-peer network with nearby phones instead of using a central server, allowing people to communicate even when mobile services are being disrupted, whether by deliberate interference or something like a widespread power outage.
Just because one app is blocked doesn’t mean they all are. If Twitter is down, Tumblr may be up. If you can’t upload a video to YouTube, try DailyMotion or even put it in the public folder of your Dropbox.
Source: Tech Crunch