Turkey’s Twitter ban is illegal

Less than a week after the Turkish government banned Twitter over failing to remove allegations of government corruption from the social network, a Turkish court ruled that the ban was “illegal”.

This is bad news for the government which has been trying to silence Twitter from talking about a government corruption scandal so close to the elections.

Users in Turkey are expected to have their access to Twitter restored—as soon as the court’s stay of execution reaches Turkey’s telecommunication authority (TIB).

The ban happened after anonymous audio recordings on Twitter alleged corruption inside the Turkish government.

Even when the Twitter ban was in place, Turks used Twitter by using virtual private networks (VPNs) and programs like Tor that use cryptography to mask a computer’s location.

Last week’s ban was based on three court orders that instructed Twitter to remove content from the site, which the company says were not provided prior to the blackout. Twitter said it complied with two of the three requests from the Turkish government.

The third order stifled political speech, which is why Twitter petitioned the Turkish court on behalf of users to reverse it. Twitter also used a “Country Withheld Content” tool that blocked Twitter accounts in Turkey while leaving them visible to the rest of the world.

Word on the super information strasse is that the government plans to appeal the ruling to keep the ban active until after the election.