Turks Are Flocking to Tor After Government Orders Block of Anti-Censorship Tools


torTurkish internet users are flocking to Tor, the anonymizing and censorship-circumvention tool, after Turkey’s government blocked Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai | MOTHERBOARD

Usage of Tor inside of Turkey went up from around 18,000 users to 25,000 users on Friday, when the government started blocking the popular social media networks, according to Tor’s official metrics. To prevent Turks from doing exactly that and connecting to the blocked sites through censorship-circumvention tools such as Tor and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), the government took a step further and ordered internet providers to block those too.

This move seems to have affected the number of people connecting to the Tor network, as the numbers of reported users went down after Friday. But Tor offers an alternative method of connection precisely made for cases like this, called “bridge relays” or simply bridges. These make it harder for internet providers to know you’re using Tor, making it also harder, in turn, to stop you from using it.

Usage of Tor bridges has shoot up in the last few days in Turkey, according to Tor’s metrics.

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