Ahmet CANISTANBUL – Hürriyet
VPN service ZenMate has vowed to continue its services in Turkey, amid the ongoing Twitter ban in the country.
Many Turks quickly adapted to bypass the ban by using VPN services, after DNS services that change the IPs of computers or mobile phones were also targeted by the authorities.
ZenMate has proved one of the most popular programs among Turks recently, allowing Turks to connect Twitter without problem by providing a VPN, or virtual private network, which encrypts data and allows users to surf the Internet anonymously.
Simon Specka, one of its founders, told Hürriyet that it would “continue to the help those who face bans on the Internet.”
“People from around the world want free access to the Internet, which is a completely understandable demand. We will continue to help those who encounter problem in this respect to the very end,” said Specka.
The government’s Internet watchdog applied the ban on Twitter late March 20, soon after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
vowed to “wipe out” the social network.
The move came after the release of documents and leaked phone conversations between Erdoğan and his family members, as well as businessmen, allegedly revealing huge levels of corruption.
Saying that ZenMate would “work hard” to allow Turkish people to enter banned websites in a free, secure and secret way, Specka stressed that this should not be regarded as “political activism.”
“We do not have power to fight against governments and we do not want to do something like that either. Although our power is limited, we have solutions to bans and this is what we are doing in Turkey right now,” he said.
ZenMate was founded in 2013 by Specka and Markus Hanel in the U.K., before moving to Berlin. The total number of ZenMate users is 1.1 million in the world and the number of Turkish users was 180,000 before the ban went into effect on March 20.
If the government also blocks access to Twitter to those using VPN services then it is expected that users will switch to a new service, a virtual private server (VPS), which is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers.
However, using a VPS is more complicated than using a VPN service, but it does allow more secure access to blocked websites.