Russia: To block Twitter, or not to block Twitter

Russia Map with Twitter Bird

Russia seems to have a conflicted relationship with Twitter and Internet censorship in general.

While trying to portray themselves as open and democratic, they clearly have a real problem with the radical openness of social media like Twitter.

Maxim Ksenzov, deputy head of Roscomnadzor (Russia’s censorship agency), said Twitter is a “global instrument for promoting political information” and that they could block Twitter or Facebook in minutes.

Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev responded on his Facebook account, saying that state officials “sometimes need to turn on their brains” rather than "announcing in interviews the shutdown of social networks.” Which is not quite the same as saying that they would not do so.

The primary desire in Russia is for Twitter and all other social networks to open offices in Russia. That would smooth communications, but also provide leverage to push for censorship or access to data as needed.

Turkey is Tweeting Again!

Boltcutter and chainTurkey Unblocks Twitter After Free-Speech Ruling Yesterday the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that the blocking of Twitter violated the guarantees of free speech in the Turkish Constitution. The government appears to have acted quickly to remove the blocks on Twitter’s IP addresses as well as the changes to DNS as ordered.

Celebratory tweets are gushing out over the wires.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Turkey Twitter censorship goes from DNS to IP based blocking

Turkey map flag

Turkey has taken their censorship of Twitter to the next level.

Initial blocking was done through DNS, so it could be easily bypassed by using something like Google DNS at

Turkey quickly responded to the masses of people using that workaround, and are now blocking Twitter by IP address.

As one often sees with attempts at censorship, this one was counter productive. It looks like tweets from Turkey actually increased 138% following the DNS block.

Now that the censorship is IP based, a VPN like Anonymizer Universal will be required to continue to access Twitter and any other services that may be blocked.

We continue to test that service from within Turkey, and it looks to be working well. 

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

Turkey blocks Twitter to suppress corruption allegations.

Turkey Anonymous Protest Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the courts have ordered Twitter be blocked completely.

This appears to be in response to Twitter refusing to take down tweets of audio recordings purporting to be of Erdoğan engaging in corrupt activities.

Twitter is suggesting that users fall back to an SMS interface to continue to access the service. I suspect most active Twitter users follow enough people that the feed would overwhelm their SMS plans completely.

A better solution is to use a VPN like Anonymizer Universal to punch a hole through the censorship. Through Anonymizer you would then be able to access Twitter, or any other website the Turkish government might be trying to block.

Update: We have re-confirmed that Anonymizer is still accessible and working from Turkey.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.