Google confirmed this weekend reports that its public Domain Name System (DNS) service, which translates numeric Internet Protocol addresses into the more human-readable domain names, is being blocked in Turkey.
Google received several credible reports and "confirmed" with its own research that its DNS service is being intercepted by most Turkish Internet service providers (ISPs), software engineer Steven Carstensen wrote on Google's security blog on Saturday. Carstensen equated the Web misdirection to someone changing phone numbers in your phone book:
"But imagine if someone had changed out your phone book with another one, which looks pretty much the same as before, except that the listings for a few people showed the wrong phone number. That's essentially what's happened: Turkish ISPs have set up servers that masquerade as Google's DNS service."
While not directly stated in Google's blog post, it seems likely that Google's public DNS servers are being blocked to prevent people from circumnavigating Turkey's ban on sites like YouTube and Twitter. Turkish citizens were reportedly setting their PCs and mobile devices to use Google public DNS IP addresses, 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168., to slip past the country's ban on Twitter.
The Turkish government took Twitter offline on March 20 for the country's 76 million citizens after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the site in the wake of allegations of political corruption spread across the social network. Google also reportedly ignored requests from Turkish officials to remove YouTube videos that allege government corruption. In a statement at that time, Google told The Wall Street Journal that it supports "a free and open Internet throughout the world and are concerned whenever and wherever it comes under threat." A week later, Turkey's telecommunications authority instituted a ban against YouTube.