Sunday, March 13, 2011

Banned In Turkey! Again!

Not only am I totally behind on current events, I'm also behind in my own freaking updates about all the cool stuff that happens to me in Turkey.

The latest thing is that Blogger was banned in Turkey again, just for a few days which was good because some of the sneaky computer-amateur tricks I was using to get around all this censorship foolishness also stopped working. I've been getting around bans with no problem for two years, so I was totally annoyed.

Like the last Blogger ban, this one was down to the cable company Digitürk. People were posting matches you're supposed to pay for, and Digitürk didn't like that. From this, we can learn that companies worldwide have been appallingly slow to work it out that there is NOTHING to be done to prevent Internet piracy and they should instead be working on ways to make money off it. Anyway.

According to this article, getting a court order to shut down as many as 600,000 blogs in Turkey was pretty much unnecessary:

Google confirmed the Blogger ban in a statement and said those with worries about piracy should turn to its easy to use takedown systems rather than seek a wholesale shutdown.

"The process for making a copyright claim for content uploaded to Blogger is straightforward and efficient, and we encourage all content owners to use it rather than seek a broad ban on access to the service," said a spokesperson.

"That way, people in Turkey can continue to enjoy Blogger whilst we respond to the specific complaint."

If I understand correctly, all Digitürk had to do was hit the "report" button that's at the top of every Blogger blog. Or, if they really wanted to make a more serious effort in the all-important Internet piracy crackdown, they could have fired off a couple of indignant emails and Google would have responded because they probably have strong feelings about Internet piracy as well, and continue to believe that it can be prevented.

But no.

So here's the cool thing that happened. When you try to open a banned website in Turkey, it looks like this:

It says something like "This website has been blocked by court order." This is what I saw the other night when I tried to get into the site where I contrl my blog from. But when I went to my blog it looked like this:
Weird, right?

BE and I spent awhile thinking of reasons, both innocuous and sinister, that this might happen. Then he's all ,"Hey, post it on Facebook!" so I did, right after I learned how to do a screenshot, which turned out to be super easy. You can see in the browser tabs in the image there is a Google search for how to do a screenshot, and a website called "How to do a screenshot." That's because the Internet is really cool and seems to know about pretty much everything.

Unless parts of it are banned. They seriously need to quit doing that, among other things they seriously need to quit doing.

Since the ban was lifted the next day, I suspect it was just some sort of ban-interim screw-up. Anyway, Blogger is back up, so I can say that for the time being this story has a happy ending.

**EDIT** The ending is not so happy after all (as of March 22)-- it appears the ban is still on, just not all the time and it appears to depend on what computer (home or work) I'm trying to access it from...

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