The Turkish government has maintained its blockade on Tor and VPN services in the country. According to Turkey Blocks, a site that provides real-time information on Internet censorship in the country, the Turkish government seems intent on curtailing the internet freedom of individuals in the country for as long as it takes.
A few weeks ago, the Turkish government imposed a ban on Tor in the country, thus plunging millions of journalists, activists and other privacy-conscious individuals into darkness. Tor is a popular system that helps people to communicate anonymously via a specially-reinforced browser. The system has been popular among many users in the world, with many governments exploring ways in which they can block it.
It appears that the Turkish government decided to extend its censorship by also blocking VPN services in the country. According to reports, major ISPs in the country, led by TTNet, decided to restrict access to the internet via VPNs for about a day earlier last week. Turkey Blocks reported that people in Turkey could not use VPN services for about 12 hours before the services were restored. Also, during the time, many social network sites remained inaccessible from within the Turkish borders.
The Turkish government has been carrying out widespread internet censorship activities in the recent past. Earlier in the year, the government conducted a massive crackdown on dissidents, which involved controlling the use of social media sites, following a failed coup attempt. Reports indicate that the government tried to coerce ISPs to block access to social media sites at the time. The government sought to justify its actions by citing the need to restore peace and order in the country.
The recent actions of the Turkish government followed the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov earlier in the month. Immediately after the assassination, people started reporting very slow speeds when they were attempting to access some sites. It appears that some ISPs were slow to respond to the order by the government that they shut down specific sites.
It is not clear what the government is going to do soon, now that individuals in the country can access social media sites and VPNs partially. However, many users of Tor have to find out other ways to bypass the restrictions.