Saturday, August 31, 2013

What would Turkey like to hide from its citizens?

Internet censorship in Turkey is a prime example of why democracies should not attempt to filter the internet. I've blogged before about the blocking of Richard Dawkin's website by the Turkish authorities so I was fascinated to learn that a full list of sites which have been blocked by Turkey is available. The information has been compiled by which identifies 31,694 sites as having been blocked, roughly doubled from last year. You can also view all blocked sites as a single page.

Highlights of the blocking list? In addition to Kurdish news sites, it includes the entirety of:

Google Groups
Google Sites

One important caveat - not everything on the list is currently blocked. Turkey has flipflopped on many of these sites with on again/off again bans at different times for different reasons. Some sites - such as YouTube - have also been unblocked after caving in to Turkish government pressure and agreeing to censor for Turkish users.

More on Turkish blocking from the excellent Reporters Without Borders site. The Guardian has a recent piece on how Turkish internet users are getting around this censorship.