Did Turkey Just Block Your Blog? How to Avoid Accidental Censorship

Last Updated by Gray Williams on November 05, 2018

Showing just how powerful the Internet can be, the Turkish blogging world grinded to a halt in July 2018 because of a typo. It took several hours to fix the error,  but still knocked thousands of websites online. That sort of glitch is a frightening look at how small human errors can derail huge parts of the Internet and leave users helpless if they don’t have the means to help themselves.

bloggingThis article will discuss the Turkish blog glitch and how citizens of every country can be more prepared to keep the same thing from happening to them in the future.

Turkey’s Blogspot Blowup

On 24 July 2018, Istanbul’s 10th Criminal Court of Peace issued a ruling to block a single blog which had lobbed complaints and criticisms against Turkish educational and training services company Bilge Adam.

The court ruled that the single blog should be blocked but failed to properly express the Internet address of it, reading the URL as “http://[email protected]blogspot.com”. The “@” symbol was incorrectly added and should have been replaced by a period as in “http://bilgeadam-magdurlari.blogspot.com”.

That singular typo saw all of Blogspot banned in Turkey, a ban that lasted until almost noon the following day. Blogspot is a subsidiary of Blogger, a Google owned company that lets anyone create blogs quickly and creatively.

Turkey Blogspot was blocked overnight until Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. Despite having multiple complaints from clients all over the country, the service was slow to take off the block. Individual ISP companies in Turkey should have seen the mishap, but none of them did and thus all ISPs were just as blind as the government organization

People going to blogspot got a rude awakening, namely an “ERROR 404 Page Not Found” warning inside of their blog to a friend’s favorite.

Keeping out of Trouble with VPNs

A simple error by Internet oversight companies can cost your business thousands of dollars. To make sure you are personally protected against such mishaps, consider investing in a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN can overcome blocks instigated by regional or national governments through the use of remote server technology and encryption.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)VPNs are downloadable client applications that allow users to install them on an Internet-capable device and open a connection to a remote computer located outside of the aforementioned jurisdiction. When the user selects a specific remote computer, a connection is made between the two that can be thought of as a “private tunnel’ connecting two points. The tunnel is where encrypted data passes back and forth between the user’s computer and the remote server.

When a connection is made, the user can begin requesting websites such as blogspot.com. These requests are encrypted and sent to the remote server where they are decrypted. Once there, the requests are decrypted and assigned an IP address representative of the country the remote server is in. The request than heads to the Internet.

The reverse situation works exactly the same. When information is downloaded from the Internet, it travels first to the remote server. There it is encrypted and sent through the tunnel to your computer to be downloaded and viewed. The more servers a VPN has to connect has to connect to, the greater chance you have to avoid whatever block you are trying to avoid.

1IPVanish

IPVanish
IPVanish is a great VPN to look into in this circumstance, having grown from 30 in 2012 to more than 1,000 spread across 60 countries at present.

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2Private VPN

Private VPN
PrivateVPN is among the best in the business when it comes to keeping yourself safe online. It has 2048-bit encryption and built-in leak protection so that if your VPN fails, your computer will immediately disconnect from the Internet.

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3Trust.Zone

Trust.Zone
If you’re new to the VPN game, Trust.Zone is another interesting choice. Not as fancy with bells and whistles as some of its competition, Trust.Zone is a great place for VPN beginners. It  offers a kill switch for the security minded along with unlimited bandwidth who want to keep  a steady diet of blogspot posts in order.

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Gray Williams
Gray Williams is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.