White House urges end to Turkey's Twitter ban

U.S. is 'deeply concerned' about restricting Turkish citizen access to Twitter, says Obama spokesman

The White House have called on Turkish officials to end the country's Twitter ban.

"The United States is deeply concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens' access to basic communications tools," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in a statement. "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."

Obama administration officials have urged the Turkish government to restore full access to blocked technologies, Carney said.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State, said in a press conference on Friday that U.S. ambassador Francis Ricciardone, Jr. told government officials in Turkey of U.S. concerns about the Twitter ban.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke out - on Twitter -- about the issue.

"The freedom to speak out & to connect is a fundamental right. The people of Turkey deserve that right restored. #TwitterisblockedinTurkey," she tweeted.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu last week confirmed reports that the government there had blocked the micro-blogging site because Twitter had refused to abide by a Turkish court order to remove tweets containing links to certain websites.

The country began blocking access to Twitter last Thursday.

On Sunday, Turkish president Abdullah Gul told reporters that it's while illegal in Turkey to levy a total shutdown of Internet platforms, "links containing offensive content could be closed down," according to an Anadolu report.

Twitter responded last week by tweeting instructions to Turkish users instructions on how to get around the government's restrictions.

"Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555," the company tweeted through its @policy account.

Today, the company tweeted, "Twitter remains committed to defending the prvacy of our users in #Turkey - we won't betray their trust."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Gov't Legislation/RegulationInternet-based applications and servicesregulationsecurityU.S. Department of Statetwittergovernmentsocial mediainternetwhite house

More about GoogleTopicVodafone

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Sharon Gaudin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts