White House ‘Deeply Concerned’ After Turkey Strengthens Twitter Ban

White House 'Deeply Concerned' After Turkey Strengthens Twitter Ban

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan banned Twitter throughout the country on Thursday and has increased the severity of the ban over the weekend as many users found a way around the block.

Initially the block re-routed users in Turkey to a page listing a number of court orders that Twitter had not responded to that led to the ban. However, this was fairly easily surpassed, with Google and others providing a workaround. Now, users are reporting that Twitter is blocked at the IP level within the country, which, while not 100 percent insurmountable, is a far trickier obstacle to overcome.

Meanwhile, the United States has stated that it is “deeply concerned” that the Turkish government has taken these steps, said Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.

The United States is deeply concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens’ access to basic communication tools. We oppose this restriction on the Turkish people’s access to information, which undermines their ability to exercise freedoms of expression and association and runs contrary to the principles of open governance that are critical to democratic governance and the universal rights that the United States stands for around the world. We have conveyed our serious concern to the Turkish government, urge Turkish authorities to respect the freedom of the press by permitting the independent and unfettered operation of media of all kinds, and support the people of Turkey in their calls to restore full access to the blocked technologies.

Former first lady and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also tweeted her condemnation of the action taken by the Turkish government.

(Source: Washington Post.)