Restricted Web Access

We, two engineers working as IT professionals for more than 10 years, were trying to read the most popular newspaper of our country by using our computers at the office. I was sitting just beside his desk and watching his actions...

He tried to check the headlines of the paper. Corporate web access filter denied his attempts due to the category of the pages he wanted to open. Some of the forbidden categories were  "Provocative Attire", "Entertainment" and "Media Sharing"... Too dangerous!

The paper was Hürriyet. The year was 2011. He was 38 and I was 33 years old. Our arrogant and nitwit web proxy controller application was very persistent about disciplining us.

My friend strived to open 10 headline links on the newspaper. The system allowed only 3 or 4 of them. And the things we saw on the pages, we succeeded to reach, were ugly guys and their boring words and some depressing news like that.

My friend's witty statement was outstanding:

"Hey Bora, what sort of a security concept is it? It blocks all the pages with joy and cheer but shows every possible disgusting men and their stories! Do we really pay for this system? It is a psycho! It must be broken. Look at that thumbnail: If it is a smiling lady, proxy stops that link; if it is a fat serial killer proxy lets me visit the page! "

After a simple black box test, his conclusion was correct: "It must be broken."

I know that it is a common story.
I discussed the problematic perspectives of this prevalent protective approach with my colleagues who are responsible for network security of the company several times. Unfortunately, we were not talking the same language :) So nothing got better.

We demand free communication everywhere! School, home, office, street...

What is the solution?

Blogger is Banned in Turkey

Digiturk, the digital telecaster, sued Google for infringing the Turkish Soccer Games' broadcasting license, held by itself. As a result, the responsible court found Digiturk rightful and decided to block access to Blogger web site from Turkey.
The scenario is that some guys are recording the soccer matches broadcasted by Digiturk and putting the streaming video in the web pages, provided by Blogger, in a nearly real-time fashion. At first sight, Digiturk might be recognized as the victim of the bandits and we can support the verdict of the court. However, when it comes to the technological perception of the case, things are starting to get different. In this era, a high technology provider such as Digiturk must be aware of the abilities of the Internet, Internet users as "living creatures", their rights, contemporary tendencies in the context of communication over Internet and their effects to the old fashioned business. Internet is transforming the human behaviour including the aspects of how they consume things, how they receive services, how they trade, in an unstoppable way and the laws which are to regulate the commerce have to be adapted to the current way of life immediately. Otherwise, applying the ancient laws to our "post-modern" lives will be resulting in odd situations. Banning the Blogger in Turkey is a good example of those weird situations.
As we all know, Blogger is an open platform and every blogger user must sign the "terms of service" before creating their blogs. Some users may violate the terms and Google may suspend or purge their accounts. It seems like a solution but those guys can immediately create new accounts and continue violating the terms they signed. It is not so difficult to see the truth that the material contained in a user's page is in his/her responsibility, not Google's. So shutting down the access paths to a huge platform like Blogger, in which millions of free human beings are expressing theirselves, running business, communicate, collaborate, just living there, due to the misbehaviour of its small number of users is not a decent way of regulating the commerce by law. If you could, please find the "real" persons who are broadcasting the Digiturk's content by violating the licenses and judge them in a fair way but DO NOT block the whole Blogger platform. Because this rough way make all innocent Blogger users suffer. Personally, I do not care about soccer or Digiturk or the licenses of Digiturk. I just want to follow the blogs and share my opinions in my blog. Why do you stop me? What is your point of view? Can you explain your attitude by regarding the rules of public welfare or any other story?
My last words are for Digiturk: Why did you pay for the license of telecasting the content that you cannot protect from pirates? What was your business plan? Broadening the subscriber base of yours or making judges block several parts of the Internet domain by domain? Isn't it your problem to save your property from illegal access by using criptology or any other way you can benefit? To me, you are very very unsuccessful and do not have the fundemantal perception of the concepts of human rights, IP based communication, world wide web, and even basic business :) Besides, in my opinion, your vision is too narrow for a technology provider. It is a surprise that you receive financial support from TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) for your research and development projects. Don't you think that you have to be much more innovative and smarter about finding the methods for protecting your core asset? If I were the CFO of TÜBİTAK, I would cut off your financial support, just after I got informed about your lawsuit against Google. Yes, you seem you are the winner of the lawsuit but I consider you as the loser party in the long run.
I have to admit that I will never be a Digiturk subscriber just because of your odd claim against Google! You add no value to my life. You don't seem to be capable of making things smarter in your business. You better sell eggs in bazaar and sue the ones who try to steal your eggs :) But with your current mindset, I have no doubt that you would ask judge to collapse the streets to the bazaar, where possible thieves are wandering, instead of catching the thieves :))