Ars Technica on Thursday reported on an “administrative measure” implemented by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) shutting down access to YouTube, which the tech-oriented outlet noted was done in an attempt “to stem a flood of leaked audio recordings of government officials before elections this Sunday.”
The latest recording posted to YouTube, which was of a conversation purported to be between Turkey’s foreign minister, chief of intelligence, and the deputy chief of the Turkish military, included details of potential military operations in Syria. Previous recordings, which were widely linked by posts to Twitter, included a conversation that was alleged to be between Erdoğan and his son regarding where to hide large quantities of money in the face of corruption investigations.
The restrictions on YouTube come roughly a week after a globally ridiculed, largely failed, and legally overturned decree banning access to Twitter, and Ars noted that it appears that Turkey’s telecommunications authority had initially implemented both bans similarly, by changing the Domain Name Service listings for the targeted sites.
Ankara had subsequently escalated how it prevented access to Twitter – specifically by instituting a block to the microblogging platform’s IP addresses – and Ars suggested that the Turkish government will eventually get around to similarly restricting YouTube.
Hurriyet Daily News conveyed statements from U.S. and European Union officials condemning the new restrictions. The State Department called on Turkey to stop blocking both YouTube and Twitter, while Neelie Kroes – one of several vice-presidents of the European Commission, and bloc’s European Commissioner for Digital Agenda – blasted what she described as “another desperate and depressing move” from Ankara.
— Neelie Kroes (@NeelieKroesEU) March 27, 2014
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