Friday, February 3, 2012

The Great Turkish Firewall: It's New! And Improved!

So after all the hoo-hah about Internet censorship earlier last year, everyone mostly quit talking about it and it seemed like nothing had happened and business as usual.

Of course, that wasn't the case. It was only about pretending it was business as usual. And also doing whatever needed to be done to engage in Futuristic Stealth Censorship 5000.

I remember an exchange I had with Bulent Mürtezaoğlu (see comments in the link above, if you care) about how Turkish censorship was at least somehow more transparent than American censorship. True that. You used to get a page stating that the site was closed due to whatever bullshit court order from whatever backwater court assigned to closing down websites.

No more. Emre Kızılkaya over at the Istanbullian points out that Rolling Stone (Rolling Stone?! Are you serious? Because that shit has been nothing but innocuous since the late 70s...) and Venus swimwear are now blocked from our gentle, pious eyes.


Only this time, there's not even a bullshit court order. It's way more opaque. Now I get what Bülent was talking about with the American-style error messages that you don't even think twice about. You just think you made a mistake or someone else did or maybe there's some sort of kink in the Internet.

The filth you're missing at Venus.
It's a stupid show! Don't read!

He's bi! Don't read!
But in Turkey, especially when it comes to the Internet, there are a lot of things that make you think twice.

Fortunately, a healthy supply of T & A can always be seen in the newspaper, and on Turkey's top newspaper websites.

Thank goodness for Vatan.
Ah, good old Millyet-- never misses a frikik!
God bless America, land of the free, home of the brave. Why did Turkey have to choose this particular Western thing to copy and get it right? Why not hamburgers and polite use of roundabouts?

There now. Isn't that nice?


Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

The idea of turning censorship into error messages was not what I had in mind. That lovely piece of reasoning comes from a censorship bureaucrat here who wanted to further obscure the fact of their interference with the data traffic by turning that 'blocked' message into a technical error message. (Yes, they actually say these things to the press here.)

Now, for the curious case of Rolling Stones, I looked into it for a bit months ago when someone else complained and it appears to be the kind of thing http servers return when they don't want to serve the URL you requested. A few of people outside the US (and Turkey) are complaining about this: here is a search. Looks like something the site admins there are doing.

You can still access it as

Stranger said...

So unless one is more savvy about error messages than I am, one won't know if it's from the publisher, the censors, or even a genuine error...

I don't even care about Rolling Stone that much. I'm just kind of waiting on tenterhooks to see what will be slowly excised away from the Internet. Looks like I jumped the gun.