Access Denied to Turkish Censorship Authorities’ websites

Since early morning of 18.06.2010 (01:00hrs approximately) the websites of the Ministry of Transportation (http://www.ubak.gov.tr/), Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) (http://www.tk.gov.tr/), and the Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB) (http://www.tib.gov.tr/) has been unaccessible. The three state bodies are responsible for Internet censorship and has been aggressively trying to make it impossible to access YouTube and Google related services from Turkey since 03 June 2010.

On the 3rd of June 2010, the Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB) asked the Turkish Internet Service Providers to block access to certain IP addresses associated with YouTube. The ISPs then started warning their users that as a result of TIB’s request to block access to certain IP addresses certain Google services may also be affected. In fact considerable number of Google related services (including popular services such as Analytics, Translate, Docs, Books, Map, and Earth) have been affected from Turkey since the 4th of June.

Yesterday, on 17.06.2010 the plot thickened further as an Ankara Public Prosecutor asked Ankara’s 1st Criminal Court of Peace to block access to 44 IP addresses related to YouTube and Google related services. The Court complied and granted the supplementary decision to its infamous May 2008 YouTube blocking order. Users started to report that services such as Picasa and Google Maps become impossible to use. Several other Google services are reportedly malfunctioning.

It looks like somebody decided to retaliate and either the state authorities’ websites are hacked, or they have been subjected to a serious denial of service (DoS) attack. As there are no ‘hacked signatures” on the websites and they remain inaccessible for nearly 10hrs this is more likely to be a DoS attack.

It is now confirmed that it was a DoS attack co-ordinated by a group of hackers to protest against Internet censorship in Turkey. A press release sent to the press stated that this was a systematic attack that lasted 10hrs. They said the attack would stop at 1100 local hour, and in fact the websites were back online by 1105. The attackers stated that they stopped the attack as a goodwill gesture, but the reason behind the attack was to protest against the unlawful blocking of access to YouTube and related IP services.

The Ministry of Transportation confirmed the attack later in the afternoon but stated that it only lasted 30 minutes, and that they themselves managed to stop the attack. Nobody believed the government sources, and I personally followed the story from the beginning and confirm that these websites were unaccessible since early morning until 1105 today.

Written by Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, Associate Professor, Human Rights Law Research Center, Faculty of Law, Istanbul Bilgi University, and Director of Cyber-Rights.Org. (lawya@cyber-rights.org)

The Attackers Press Release in Turkish

Kamuoyuna Duyuru

Aşağıda sıralanmış olan sistemlere erişimi TSI 01:00 ila 11:00 arası engellenmiştir. Gerekçeleri aşağıda anlatılmak ile birlikte sadece bu saatler arasında erişime engellenmesinin sebebi iyi niyetimizin bir göstergesidir, amacımız kurumların çalışmasını engellemek değil aşağıda anlatmış olduğumuz konulara kamuoyunun ve kamunun dikkatini çekmektir.

Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı ( http://www.tib.gov.tr )
Telekomünikasyon Kurumu – Bilgi Teknolojileri ve İletişim Kurumu (http://www.tk.gov.tr – http://www.btk.gov.tr )
Ulaştırma Bakanlığı (http://www.ubak.gov.tr )

sitelerine erişim, youtube’a yonelik olarak yürüttükleri 5651 sayılı yasa kapsamındaki hukuksuz çalışmalar sebebi ile engellenmiştir.

Tübitak (http://www.tubitak.gov.tr)

sitesine erişim ise kurum içerisinde yer alan, kamu güvenliğini hedef alan BOME(Bilgisayar Olaylarına Müdahale Ekibi) yapısının fonksiyonsuzluğunu ve vizyonsuzluğunu gözler önüne sermek için engellenmiştir. Kamu Bilgi Güvenliği daha kendi güvenliğini sağlayamayan bu tarz kurumların tekeline bırakılmamalıdır.

Bilgilerinize arz ederiz.

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