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Turkey Blocks Wikipedia as a National Security Measure

Turkey Blocks Wikipedia

Following the Russian model, the Turkish authorities are increasing their efforts to consolidate power through online censorship culminating with the recent ban of the Wikipedia website. Officials have stated that the block was carried on under a law that allows filtering for national security and public safety purposes.

The ban took place on Saturday when everyone using a Turkish internet provider received an error message when trying to access the page.

Turkey has previously imposed blocks and restrictions on access to popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram and YouTube. The Wikipedia restriction was carried out in affiliation with moves against president Erdogan’s regime opponents.

The ban comes as a result of Wikipedia’s refusal to remove some articles and comments that allegedly suggested the country was in cooperation with several “terror groups”.

The state-controlled Anadolou Agency in Turkey quotes Turkish officials from the Department of Communications as declaring that:

“Wikipedia has started acting as part of the circles that carry out a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena, rather than being cooperative in fight against terror”.

Turkish Department of Communications

Also, Turkish officials said that they have been in contact with the website many times requesting the said content to be removed but all the attempts proved to be unsuccessful. The move to block the page caused a bustle on social media as users severely criticized the decision.

In response, Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales posted a message on his Twitter account stating that he will stand with Turks after the ban.

In such extreme cases, many internet users resort to the use of VPNs as a last line of defence against the imposed censorship, although many equivalent services were also blocked. The partial or total blocking of VPNs will change Turkey’s internet censorship to ‘severe’ as the majority of people will be unable to access certain information online.

While the government guaranteed that this type of measures are temporary enforced for national security reasons, many see these actions as threatens to civil rights under President Erdogan’s administration.

However, the use of VPN services is still a gateway to browsing freedom when situations such as the Turkish ban occur. They help users securely access restricted websites by hiding the IP Address and making the connection through a different network. Another very important aspect when using a VPN is privacy through data encryption. This means that users can avoid being victims to the invasive nature of some ISPs or Government interferences. There will always be oppressive regimes and there will always be ways in which citizens will stand up to them as a manifest to civil rights. We strongly support everyone’s unrestricted right to access information online and we concentrate our efforts to offer the best and most secure VPN solutions available.

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Posted on by in Privacy

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