Vimeo: banned in Turkey

I can confirm that the ban on Vimeo reported today at TechCrunch is in effect. And unlike most bans here, which can be worked around by using a third-party DNS service (e.g., OpenDNS or Google Public DNS), this ban appears to be the same kind of full-throttle “do not allow any traffic to from any IP address that has ever served up Vimeo content whether or not it’s actually Vimeo content” that is currently in place for many Google services (including YouTube).

Got FoxyProxy?

Plugging holes and plugging mouths

Years ago, the powers that be here in Turkey decided that YouTube needed to be blocked. So they forced the (centralized) DNS servers to redirect all youtube.com requests to a “no YouTube for you” page. Then people figured out that if they use an independent DNS service (e.g., OpenDNS and later Google) the addresses would resolve as they should. And life was good. Not only were the gates to YouTube effectively re-opened, but you also gained access to myriad other banned sites (mostly pron that was speculatively banned on the basis of copyright infringement (!), but a lot of actually useful stuff as well.)

A few days ago, the powers that be decided they needed to plug this hole. So instead of merely intercepting DNS requests to youtube.com, they implemented an indiscriminate IP address ban on all (known) addresses used by Google to serve up YouTube content. The problem with this is that Google uses those same addresses to serve up non-YouTube stuff like Google Docs, Google Sites (once banned, maybe still so), etc.

Result: very little Google goodness for the good people of Turkey. Way to go.

Google Sites banned

As of 24 June 2009, access to Google Sites has been blocked in Turkey.

Just for giggles, here’s the official English explanation: “The decision no 2009/392 dated 24/06/2009, which is given about this web site (sites.google.com) within the context of protection measure, of Denizli 2. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi has been implemented by ‘Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı’.”

Lest you think that the above is a Google translation, here it is again translated by Google from the official announcement in Turkish: “Denizli 2nd Magistrates of the Criminal Court, dated 24/06/2009 and 2009/392 in the context of this web site nolu PROTECTION MEASURES (sites.google.com) the decision about the Telecommunications Communication Başkanlığı’nca apply.”