WikiLeaks Blocked in Turkey After Massive Email Leak

Published: July 20, 2016 10:12 PM /


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WikiLeaks has released a searchable database of nearly 300,000 emails connected to Turkey's governing party, the AKP. This is part one of the AKP emails, and includes email addresses beginning with the letters "A" through "I." The site doesn't mention a timeline on when the rest of the emails will be published, but it will likely be in the near future. The emails cover a time period from 2010 up until July 6 of this year. WikiLeaks states that the emails contained in the leak were obtained a week before the recent failed coup, but WikiLeaks has accelerated its schedule for releasing the emails in response to Erdogan's purges in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

The Turkish government has decided to block WikiLeaks in the country in response to this leak. The censorship monitoring organization Turkey Blocks noticed that Wikileaks was blocked in the country within hours of the leak being published. The WikiLeaks Twitter account has tweeted out instructions for its Turkish followers to circumvent the block. This move is not too surprising, as the Turkish government has resorted to site-blocking several times in the past. Both social media and blogging platforms have been targets of previous blocks by the Turkish government.

In addition to being blocked, WikiLeaks tells Wired that the site faced a DDOS attack when the emails were initially leaked. In response to the attack, the AKP emails temporarily required a password to access, but they were again made available to the public once the attack subsided. The Turkish government is an obvious suspect to be responsible for the DDOS attack, but Alp Toker, coordinator of the Turkey Blocks project, says it might simply be nationalist hackers taking matters into their own hands. "In very recent times, we’ve seen cases where governments or pro-government hackers might be involved in this kind of activity," Toker said, "It seems very plausible that supporters of the government rather than top-down actions might be involved. There are many hacking groups that support the government."

Do you think the leaked emails will give any insight into the recent coup attempt in Turkey? Leave your comments below.

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I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.