Feeds

Turkey bans Google Books, Google Docs, Google Translate...

Collateral damage from YouTube snuff?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Turkey has banned multiple Google services, according to reports, including Google Translate, Google Docs, and Google Books. But Mountain View believes the ban is accidental, a side effect of Turkey's longstanding ban on the Google-owned YouTube.

According to the International Business Times, Turkey’s Telecommunications Presidency has released a statement saying said it has banned many Google IP addresses, but it did not provide reasons for doing so. The statement said that some addresses are completely inaccessible while others are merely slow to load. Reports claim problems with Google AppEngine, FeedBurner, AdWords, and Analytics as well as Google Translate, Google Docs, and Google Books.

Apparently, the ban began on June 4.

But Google tells The Reg that it believes these services were banned accidentally and that it's working with the Turkish government to solve the problem. "We have received reports that some Google applications are unable to be accessed in Turkey," reads a statement from the company. "The difficulty accessing some Google services in Turkey appears to be linked to the ongoing ban on YouTube. We are working to get our services back up as soon as possible."

Turkish authorities have continuously blocked access to YouTube since May 2008, after users uploaded videos that insulted the Turkish republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. And the government previously banned the video-sharing site on at least three other occasions.

Apparently, the first ban, in 2007, was a response to a parody news broadcast in which Greek football fans taunted the Turks by saying: "Today's news; Kemal Atatürk was gay!" Under Turkish law — Law 5651 — the courts can shut down a website of it attacks Atatürk or incites suicide, paedophilia, drug usage, obscenity, or prostitution.

The original video was taken down, but prosecutors have since objected to countless other videos insulting Atatürk.

Whether accidental or not, free-press outfit Reporters Without Boarders condemned Turkish authorities for extending the ban beyond YouTube, as it has long criticized the YouTube ban. “It is time the Turkish authorities demonstrated their commitment to free expression by putting an end to the censorship that affects thousands of websites in Turkey and by overhauling Law 5651 on the Internet, which allows this sort of mass blocking of sites,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“The censorship of YouTube in particular seems to be an archaic form of control, one that prevents Turks from accessing Web 2.0’s potential... [this] trend has been accentuated by the current problems in accessing other services provided by Google, which are widely used by Turkish Internet users."

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) estimates that about 3,700 websites are “blocked for arbitrary and political reasons” in Turkey, including foreign websites, sites aimed at the country's Kurdish minority, and gay sites.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Turkey’s communications minister has called on Google to register as a taxpayer in the country, saying this would hasten a move towards lifting the YouTube ban. “The company should open a representation,” Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Tuesday. “YouTube is a taxpayer in 20 countries, and we want them to do the same in Turkey.”

Google tells us that it does not operate servers in Turkey, but that it will work with the government to resolve this issue. "Google complies with tax law in every country in which it operates," reads another statement from the company. "We are currently in discussion with the Turkish authorities about this, and are confident we comply with Turkish law. We report profits in Turkey which are appropriate for the activities of our Turkish operations." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.