Skip to main content

Google says Turkey is intercepting web traffic to spy on users

Google says Turkey is intercepting web traffic to spy on users

Share this story

Turkey's decision to block access to popular websites has prompted many citizens to evade the ban using Google's domain name service. Now Google reports that most Turkish internet service providers are masquerading as Google DNS, presumably to spy on users. The move comes a week after reports emerged that Turkey had begun blocking access to Google DNS. "We have received several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google's Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted," Google said in a blog post.

A DNS routes the domain name you type into your browser to the IP address of that site. In the early days of Turkey's crackdown on social media, Turkish citizens were able to restore their access to Twitter and YouTube by routing their traffic through Google's DNS. But now Turkish ISPs have set up servers that appear to be Google's, according to Google, putting users at risk that their traffic could be monitored.

Turkey blocked access to social media services after its prime minister, Recep Erdoğan, was implicated in a corruption scandal in which recordings that purportedly showed him telling his son to dispose of large sums of cash emerged on YouTube and elsewhere. Erdoğan denies the authenticity of the recordings, saying that they are the work of his rival, the cleric Fethullah Gulen. He has worked to stop the spread of the recordings ahead of local elections taking place today.