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The Switchboard: Turkey’s Twitter ban gets tougher

(Tor Metrics)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Turkey strengthens Twitter ban, institutes IP level block. Over the weekend Turkey's ban on Twitter became technically more difficult to circumvent, The Switch reports. While the initial Twitter blocking was done by what appeared to be DNS misdirection, researchers say Turkish Twitter users now face an IP level ban on the social media service. But VPNs, Tor and SMS should still allow some to access the service.

Tor usage in Turkey surges during Twitter ban. Speaking of Tor, usage of the anonymous browsing tool in Turkey is surging during the Twitter ban, The Switch reports. The Tor Project's metric reporting shows connections going from around 25,000 to over 40,000 since the ban was implemented.

NSA breached Chinese servers seen as a security threat. The NSA has been building backdoors into Chinese telecom giant Huawei's networks, David E. Sanger and Nicole Perloth at The New York Times report -- while U.S. officials warned about the possibility of Huawei inserting backdoors into products it sold elsewhere.

 A 'crisis' in online ads: One-third of traffic is bogus. "About 36% of all Web traffic is considered fake, the product of computers hijacked by viruses and programmed to visit sites, according to estimates cited recently by the Interactive Advertising Bureau trade group," reports Suzanne Vranica at The Wall Street Journal. "So-called bot traffic cheats advertisers because marketers typically pay for ads whenever they are loaded in response to users visiting Web pages—regardless of whether the users are actual people."

Wireless companies fight for their futures. Allan Holmes at the Center for Public Integrity reports on the intense competition between wireless carriers around the upcoming spectrum auction. "Good spectrum is crucial for wireless companies to attract customers by delivering an ever-increasing amount of information to smartphones and computer tablets," he writes. "The competition for control of the airwaves has set off an intense lobbying fight that rivals some of the largest battles over telecommunications policies of the past. The four biggest carriers together spent $37.3 million in 2013 trying to influence lawmakers and the FCC on a host of policy issues ranging from taxes to cyber security as well as spectrum — and the auction is still more than a year away."

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.



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Andrea Peterson · March 24, 2014

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