face new Internet restrictions after Twitter block
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[March 22, 2014]
By Daren Butler
ISTANBUL (Reuters) — Turks faced fresh
difficulties in accessing the Internet on Saturday after the government
blocked access to Twitter, the site where tweets on a corruption scandal
have angered Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
Twitter was blocked late on Thursday, hours after Erdogan vowed to
"wipe out" the social media service. Leading international
condemnation, the White House said the Twitter ban undermined
democracy and free speech.
Turks attempting to access Twitter have found an Internet page
carrying court rulings saying that a "protection measure" has been
taken, blocking the site.
But many have been able to get around the ban, either by using
virtual private network (VPN) software or changing their Domain Name
System (DNS) setting, effectively disguising their computers'
By Saturday, though, computers that had been set with DNS numbers
widely circulated to help people get around the ban were not able to
access the Internet at all.
"Apparently alternate DNS servers are also blocked in Turkey. New
settings are being circulated," wrote one Twitter user.
There was no immediate official comment.
Erdogan, who is campaigning for his party in local elections on
March 30, did not talk about the Twitter block at rallies on Friday.
He was due to continue campaigning on Saturday in the southern
province of Hatay and in the capital Ankara.
Industry Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday talks with Twitter were
taking place and the ban would be lifted if the San Francisco-based
firm appointed a representative in Turkey and agreed to block
specific content when requested by Turkish courts.
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The company said in a subsequent tweet: "We stand with our users in
Turkey who rely on Twitter as a vital communications platform. We
hope to have full access returned soon."
A company spokesman declined to say whether it would appoint someone
in Turkey but said it was moving forward in talks with the
(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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