How to access the blocked Twitter in Turkey
Turkey's courts have ordered that the social messaging service Twitter to be blocked in the country after Turkish prime minister Erdogan vowed to wipe the service out.
The official reason for the ban is that Twitter had ignored requests to remove contents in the past, and that Turkey was protecting its citizens from further victimization.
Anyway, Twitter is banned in Turkey at the time of writing.
After the ban hit, users from Turkey who could not access the social messaging site anymore used Google DNS to bypass the ban.
A DNS-level ban is relatively weak in comparison to other blocking methods. The main reason for that is that users can bypass it easily by changing the DNS provider their system uses.
The default DNS provider is usually the user's Internet Service Provider, but it is possible to change DNS servers with just a couple of clicks.
DNS is being used to look up IP addresses of domain names. So, if you type in twitter.com and hit enter in your browser, it is used to look up Twitter's IP address and establish a connection to the service.
According to The Verge and other news outlets, Google DNS and Twitter's main IP addresses are now all banned and cannot be used anymore.
If Twitter's IP addresses are really banned in Turkey, switching to another DNS provider won't allow access to the site anymore.
So what can you do instead if you are in Turkey and want to access Twitter or other sites that may be banned?
Note: I'm not in Turkey and cannot therefor test the validity of the methods listed below. They are known to work in many circumstances where countries block access to specific websites though. If you are from Turkey, be so kind and test them on your end to let everyone know what works and what does not.
Since DNS is out of the question, we have the following options instead:
- Try the Opera web browser with Off-Road Mode enabled, or Google Chrome with data compression enabled. The two features direct all web traffic through a proxy server that compresses the data. What this means is that you are not connecting directly to Twitter anymore, but through Opera's or Google's server instead.
- Use the anonymity client Tor, and make sure that Turkey is not the exit node of the program.
- Use a virtual private network service such as Hotspot Shield . Alternatives are Private Tunnel, OkayFreedom VPN, CyberGhost VPN, JustFreeVPN, proXPN, itshidden VPN, SecurityKISS, or VPNBook. Like a proxy server, a VPN sits between your computer and the Internet. All requests you make made through the VPN.
- Set up your own web proxy server that is hosted outside Turkey. This requires some technical expertise and hosting space.
- You could also try other web proxies.