Google: ‘Our Public Domain Name System (DNS) service intercepted by ISP’s in Turkey’

Google is claiming that ISPs in Turkey are intercepting their DNS service.

The implication, unstated in Google’s announcement, is that this is being done in order to block services such as YouTube and Twitter which are banned by the government.

The company cites “credible reports” and their own research.

The Turkish government has been on a campaign against Twitter and YouTube lately over their use by critics of the government. On Saturday the government condemned YouTube for a recording posted on it of a government official discussing possible military action in Syria.

Turkish authorities ordered YouTube shut down, just as they had ordered Twitter shut some time ago. The order given to ISPs to remove access to the services in their DNS, but many have been getting around the problem by setting their DNS to Google’s free public DNS service (primary: 8.8.8.8, secondary 8.8.4.4).

Google is claiming that Turkish ISPs, apparently under order of the government, are intercepting access of Google’s servers and redirecting them to their own DNS, thus re-enabling the ban.

‘Apparently in order to enforce a government ban on certain services, Turkish ISPs are intercepting access of Google’s public DNS service’, commented ZDNet blog.

Google on Saturday warned that its Public Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted by the majority of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Turkey.

Google’s Public DNS resolution service lets people use the search giant’s DNS servers as an alternative to their DNS provider, often an ISP. The service offers both performance and security benefits over many ISP DNS services.

According to Google’s Steven Carstensen, Turkish ISPs have set up servers that are essentially masquerading as Google’s DNS service.

“We have received several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google’s Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs (Internet Service Providers),” Carstensen wrote in a blog post Saturday afternoon.

“Google operates DNS servers because we believe that you should be able to quickly and securely make your way to whatever host you’re looking for, be it YouTube, Twitter, or any other,” Carstensen wrote.

“But imagine if someone had changed out your phone book with another one, which looks pretty much the same as before, except that the listings for a few people showed the wrong phone number.”

That’s exactly what the Turkish ISPs have done.

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About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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