Twitter still blocked despite Turkish court ruling

Twitter still blocked despite Turkish court ruling

Government loses high court appeal over ban on microblogging social network and other websites

Illustrative: A Twitter app on an iPhone screen. (AP/Richard Drew/File)
Illustrative: A Twitter app on an iPhone screen. (AP/Richard Drew/File)

A block on access to Twitter remains in place in Turkey despite a high court ruling against the ban.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled late Wednesday that the ban on using the social network violated the right to free expression and demanded that access be restored. The decision was published in the Official Gazette on Thursday and a lawyers’ group said the decision had immediate effect. Still, as of Thursday morning Twitter remained blocked, raising questions on whether the government would flout the ruling.

Turkey blocked access to Twitter last month after users posted links suggesting government corruption. The government then blocked access to YouTube following the leak of an audio recording of a secret government security meeting.

Many tech-savvy users have found ways to circumvent the ban on both Twitter and YouTube.

The high court ruling follows two previous rulings over the past two weeks against the ban.

Twitter welcomed last week’s ruling in its favor by calling the decision a “win for freedom of expression.”

But Turkish authorities maintained that they had 30 days to implement the previous court orders, and appealed to the high court. It is not clear how the government will react to losing the high court case.

Last week, Google said Turkey had also been intercepting its Internet domain, redirecting users to other sites.

In a weekend post on Google’s security blog, software engineer Steven Carstensen said the company has received “several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google’s Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs (Internet Service Providers).”

Carstensen said the DNS server “tells your computer the address of a server it’s looking for, in the same way that you might look up a phone number in a phone book.”

“Imagine if someone had changed out your phone book with another one, which looks pretty much the same as before, except that the listings for a few people showed the wrong phone number,” he added.

“That’s essentially what’s happened: Turkish ISPs have set up servers that masquerade as Google’s DNS service.”

read more: