Turkey accidentally shuts down its Internet after trying to block citizens using Google to find censored material
- Internet users couldn’t access popular sites such as YouTube and Gmail
- Turkish government attempted to block Google Cache
- The service allows Internet users to access censored or removed material
- One Turkish social media user joked ‘totalitarianism slows you down’
Turkey accidentally shutdown access to YouTube and popular Google services such as Gmail when it tried to censor the Internet this month
Turkish citizens were left frustrated when Turkey’s Internet Watchdog reportedly attempted to block access to Google Cache and slowed down their Internet speed in the process.
Google Cache takes a snapshot of each web page ever created and examines and caches (stores) that version as a back-up.
The cached version is what Google uses to judge if a page is a good match for your search query.
It also allows people to view content that might have been removed – including material previously banned in Turkey.
The Turkish government attempted to block Google Cache but in doing so stopped access to many popular sites.
However, Turkey’s Ministry of Communication has denied that Google Cache was ever censored.
In a statement released on Twitter, it claimed the break down in Google services was due to a technical fault with fiber-optic cables.
The country has a law that allows Turkey’s telecommunications authority (TIB) to block any website without seeking a court ruling first.
The authority is not required to give the website a chance to remove the offending content.
In 2014 during the election period, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan banned social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
He described social media as ‘the worst menace to society’.