If you are still not sure what #22agustos is actually, read my post on “what is #22agustos” and a follow up post on “where it can lead to“. The internet censorship and filtering announcement in Turkey has stirred immense fury and anger in the internet community of the country, they are taking it as the violation of their basic rights of internet freedom and liberty. Therefore, Turkish netizens have launched a series of protest against the ban on the social networks and on the streets as well.
Protests on the social network started on 3rd of May, 2011, when people saw strange hash tag (#22agustos) trending on twitter. No one knew what #22agustos actually meant at that time (including me) and when I searched, I was shocked to see the results, it was basically a plan to filter internet in yet another country, as developed as Turkey. I quickly gathered all the data on #22agustos from Google and Social networks and wrote a post protesting against it, which received great appreciation and had more than 2500 Read in 24 hours. I thank you for the appreciation but the reason for writing it was not appreciation, it was the basic right to internet freedom, that I sitting here have to fight for and has always been fighting for.
Coming to Internet freedom, it can be achieved in censored countries through various means, some of you might know some of the tools to achieve it and some of you might be completely unaware of the tools that can be used to bypass the internet censorship in countries like China, Iran, UAE, Pakistan and several other middle-eastern countries.
Lets study these methods one by one here in order to identify the best possible method to bypass the probable internet censorship in Turkey.
Proxy is the most common method in the world that people use for bypassing censorship and filters. With its immense commonness in general public, it is also very common in firewall authorities and is very commonly blocked. From 22 August in Turkey, I can rest assure you guys that proxy sites will also be blocked. If one or two very unknown proxies will still be accessible, I need to warn you to not to trust such proxies as they might be taking advantage of the need to bypass the firewall because proxies might give you access to the sites you want to have access to but your personal and browsing data will always be at risk. Including your passwords, credit card information and everything and anything that you visit through that proxy. Plus Proxies can sometime get extremely slow and hideous, you can only use it for browsing and that too for extremely slow browsing (as there might be very few proxies that will be left unblocked and all of the turkey will be on it). You can’t think of video streaming and I won’t suggest you entering your password on any of the site using proxy.
One Liner: The option remains doubtful because of its inabilities to guarantee privacy and security. Plus the accessibility of it during blockages is also very shady or rather impossible.
Using DNS softwares or simply changing the DNS settings to unblock websites in Turkey will be out of question from 22 August. As it has been said Turkey will block the actual IP addresses of the websites in the country under the specific package that the individual or the household will be having. Still, if you want to know something about DNS, let me tell you about this method in layman’s language that, through this method instead of accessing the site through its actual domain i.e. www.example.com, you access it through its IP address which actually fools the system and nothing more. When the actual IP will be blocked, it won’t be possible to use this method.
One Liner: Forget about this method !
Mirror sites are the exact copies of the sites that are blocked in certain regions and are hosted in some other region with different URL. Through this option people can actually get access to mirror sites of their favorites websites. But still the question remains, will there be mirrors available for every website. No there won’t be as its humanly impossible. Plus mirror sites are not always updated real time, so what you will be accessing through mirror sites will not be the actual version or real time version of your website, in fact, it might be as out dated as one month or one year, depending on the ability and hosting resources of the individuals who are actually mirroring it.
One Liner: It might be an option, if only the mirrors are updated in real time (which they are usually not) and are well known in public (which they are not).
Tor is no doubt a great resource for people to bypass censorships and be anonymous at the same time. For those of you, who don’t know what Tor is, I will explain, what it is. Tor is basically a network of computers being created by individual volunteers, in which each computer actually acts as a node or a point through which the data passes, and reaches to your desired URL or Query, whereas, the actual person remains anonymous. But Tor, in itself has some loopholes being highlighted by Tor Team as well and at the BlackHat Forum Europe. Tor Team confessed that the Tor, which is very common in Iran, has some loopholes and the Iranian authorities have the ability to intercept it and identify the information that has been passed through it. Moreover, it was also proved and demonstrated by an individual at the BlackHat forum, that Tor can be intercepted and all the information being passed through it can be accessed at the end node, even if he is using SSL encryption. Plus, it cannot be used for video streaming or anything involving large volume of data transfer.
One Liner: Tor is no doubt a good resource, but can easily be hijacked, plus can be a pain, when you have high bandwidth needs. I won’t recommend it to you, if you need to make any transaction or transfer any private information, including passwords or high data transfer.
VPN, stands for Virtual Private Network and despite of its revolutionary nature, it is still unknown in masses. VPN basically gives you with an IP of countries like USA, UK, Australia and several other countries, where you can actually have an access to internet like you are sitting in that country. You will be able to access everything and anything on internet without anyone knowing of it. VPN does not only gives you access to the free world, but it also provides you with anonymity and privacy at the same time. But a good VPN comes with a price, you have to pay for the the facility, in my opinion its worth it. You get access to the free world without any interruptions or slow speeds, without any worries of your data being hijacked, without any worries of accessing outdated data. In fact, a VPN connection gives you access to the free internet world like you would have been surfing with out any censorship. VPN may also come into bans later on as we saw in case of China. But the ban was only for few services and particular protocols, rest of the VPN services remained uninterrupted. I would recommend you using SSTP VPN, as it is almost un-blockable and untraceable. PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN will also do the work and might cost you a little less than SSTP. A good VPN service might range from $6 to $18 depending on the bandwidth you are asking for. It comes with plug and play technology. You will install a dialer on your computer which will automatically change your IP, once you connect to it, nothing else needed.
One Liner: VPN can be a handy solution to bypass all the internet filters and firewalls in Turkey. It’s just that we need to know how to handle it, which is pretty easy.
These are some of the suggestions and tools that I identified and can be handy in bypassing the internet filters and censorship in Turkey. Please comment below if you have any suggestions or you think there are other tools that can be helpful as well.
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