Anticipating a ramp-up of social media restrictions, anti-government protesters in Turkey are looking to VPN services to make sure their voices are heard around the world.
Wired is reporting that VPN software companies are reporting incredible increases in downloads for advanced privacy/unfettered access to social media in case of any shutdown. This spike of interest in VPN in Turkey came after this past weekend’s protest as the movement was peaking.
The anti-government protesters, sensing an impending crackdown due to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pronouncement that social media is “the worst menace to society”, have taken matters into their own hands with VPNs, effectively ensuring the resiliency of their voices by finding end-arounds to hypothetical repression and unblocking their favorite social media services like Facebook and Twitter.
If the Turkish government does in fact institute a ban on social media, it would not be without precedent. YouTube was unavailable throughout Turkey for two years starting in 2007 thanks to a video that reportedly insulted the founder of Turkey, and, more recently, when the Turkish government announced new internet filtration systems supposedly put in place to protect children.
Naturally, and as internet restrictions often do, this sort of behavior has caught the attention of the Anonymous collectiive, among other hacking groups like the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). The Hacker News is reporting that Anonymous and the SEA have managed to hack into the Turkish Ministry of the Interior’s website as well as the private e-mails, passwords, phone numbers, etc. of several members of Prime Minister Erdogan’s staff.
As a company that aligns itself with many of the most popular and effective VPNs available throughout the globe, we’re heartened by the increased usage of this technology among protesters looking to ensure that their voices are heard, and we’re happy to contribute to the cause of internet freedom in any way we can.