Since April 29th the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey. This is an attack on freedom of speech in the country, and a way of saying that they fear the words written down at the site.
It was in an article on the subject published by Private Internet Access (in their very good blog), that they added the following quote from Game of Thrones: “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” That is for sure true about the new Wikipedia block that went live in Turkey on April 29th. The government does not want the people to get access to free information, and thus they are limiting their access to Wikipedia. This is of course not the first time the country does so, because we have earlier written lots of article about social media bans in the country, limiting access to services such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other similar services.
As you can see above this is an official ban, and the government has done so to stop “lies” and other seeds of revolution and revolt. Are these bans effective? They do for sure work, but it is not a hidden fact that those really eager to get access to Wikipedia in Turkey simply have to use a VPN service, and in a few minutes from now they can yet again visit Wikipedia, update the articles themselves, and share information about what’s going on at Facebook and other social media sites.
Isn’t this becoming more and more normal?
This is the third article we write on different social media bans in the last week. First we wrote about how Egypt has blocked access to VoIP services such as Viber, Messanger and WhatsApp, then we wrote about India blocking Facebook, Reddit, YouTube and other services in the Kashmir region, and now it is time for Turkey to ban Wikipedia.
With such bans becoming more and more frequent, it is no secret that the usage of VPNs are booming. In the USA the recent law allowing ISPs to sell your Internet history for money made VPN sales go to an all time high in the USA, and with similar bans across the world, it seems to become an international thing.
Working with Internet security and with VPN services, we have often feared that VPNs would become unnecessary. Since streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime started blocking users with VPN, most people using VPN for streaming cancelled their subscription. But, in the new world as of 2017 VPN connections are no longer used for the main purpose of bypassing geo-blocks on streaming services, it is used for staying hidden, secure and safe online, with access to all social media sites and VoIP services available.
What do you think about this? Is it a right thing to do to block access to Wikipedia in Turkey? Do you live in Turkey? What is your experience on this subject? Please write a comment and share your thoughts and your insights on the subject!