The latest victim of Turkey’s campaign of censorship is Tor

turkey blocks tor dark web keyboard key
skdesign / 123RF Stock Photo
Muting voices is no new practice for the Turkish government. The country has led the world for several years when it comes to jailing journalists, and just last week, it was revealed that a record number of journalists around the world are now behind bars, with burgeoning numbers attributed largely to Turkey’s crackdown on freedom of the press following the failed coup earlier this year. And now, Turkey is exercising yet another form of control over individual voices — this time, on the web.

Over the weekend, watchdog group Turkey Blocks pointed out that the Tor anonymity network has been blocked, marking the defeat of the “last line of defense against the world’s most severe internet censorship regimes.” As Turkey Blocks wrote, “Our study indicates that service providers have successfully complied with a government order to ban VPN services.” And while Tor has grown in popularity in recent times (particularly in response to the Turkish government’s tightening grip on other aspects of the web), its moment in the sun seems to be over.

So what does this mean? According to Turkey Blocks, these “sophisticated blocking measures” will prevent internet users from easily circumventing social media shutdowns and other mass-censorship tactics in Turkey. Indeed, the watchdog group says, the blocking of Tor (along with the government’s previous banning of VPN services), could make Turkey’s digital landscape look increasingly like that of China’s, whose Great Firewall has been widely criticized as overly restrictive.

While other cases of Turkish censorship have generally followed contentious events (like the attempted coup), this one seems to have emerged almost as a precautionary measure from Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Already, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube have been blocked, and access to sharing services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and GitHub has been restricted.

Turkey Blocks concluded, “Network restrictions imposed by the government will become absolute for many internet users, even those who were previously able to work around frequent mass-censorship events with relative ease. The new measures are thus likely to change the nature of internet usage over years to come, diminishing media freedom and freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey.”

Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

These are the worst passwords of 2018. Is yours on this list?

Do you use a bad password that makes your online accounts easy to break into? SplashData has compiled a list of the top 100 worst passwords for 2018 and there are quite a few listings that were carryovers from prior lists.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Microsoft could split up search and Cortana in the next Windows 10 release

In the latest Insider preview build, Microsoft is exploring ways to split up Cortana and search on Windows 10. If Microsoft moves ahead with this change, we could see separate search and Cortana options in the Spring 2019 Update.
Computing

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Mining cryptocurrency for Razer Silver isn’t worth your computing power

Gaming peripheral maker Razer launched a cryptocurrency mining scheme called SoftMiner. You use its software to mine and in return, you get Razer Silver which you can use to buy Razer gear.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Computing

Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains

Nvidia's pricey Jetson AGX Xavier might help drive the next generation of smart robots. Nvidia hopes that developers will use its new Xavier module to power AI-driven machines like delivery drones and robots used in manufacturing.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

Leaked AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile benchmarks look fit for thin, low-power laptops

AMD is poised to give Intel a run for its money in the ultra-low-power processor space for laptops. Leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 3000 APU series show the AMD processor besting Intel's Core i7 Y series in multicore performance.