The Turkish government has blocked TOR and VPN services in the country. Investigations indicate that the blockade was implemented sometime in mid-December after the government announced that it was taking measures to safeguard national security in the crisis-hit country.
As per last week, users could not successfully bypass restrictions using VPN services. Similarly, all attempts at using the Tor Browser failed as users started experiencing severe connectivity problems.
It appears that the government is using Deep Packet Inspection, a process of censoring the internet that automatically sniffs out traffic from VPN servers and chokes the connectivity speeds to anything less than 10%, thus making it almost impossible for individuals to access the internet using these methods.
The recent move by the Turkish government means that Turkey now joins other countries that are known for their severe internet censorship stances. Before this recent development, the government in Turkey has been selectively blocking access to some websites at specific times. For example, the government has, in the past, been fond of blocking access to leading social media sites during times political unrest.
In the recent times, the government has had to grapple with rising political temperatures in the country following the attempted coup that occurred back in July. The country has also had to fight with a string of terrorist attacks in the recent past.
It appears that the government, in a bid to deal with these issues, has resorted to limiting the internet freedoms of its citizens.
The new development will have a profound effect on internet users in the country. Individuals heavily rely on VPN services and the Tor browser to make secure communications and bypass possible censorship.
These two methods have remained popular among journalists, researchers and other individuals who, for one reason or another, intend to browse the internet anonymously. However, following the new stance by the government, it is now not possible to use these secure forms of communication in Turkey.
It also appears that the leading ISPs in the country, UyduNet and TTNet, are keen to implement the new regulations issued by the government. Indications are that the ISPs have moved in swiftly to block access to VPN services in the country.
However, the number of individuals who have been attempting to access VPN services in the country at record speeds. It appears that many persons in the country are genuinely interested in accessing the internet using VPN services and the Tor Browser.