Some people in Turkey found that over the weekend their server did not allow them to access the official Dawkins website. This is one example of attempted censorship restricting people’s access to the web. WordPress itself is restricted in Turkey. However, with a proxy people have been able to get around the prohibitions.
Right now it is unclear whether this was by mandate of court order, or a decision by the server. Speculation is that this post on the front site resulted in the ban or that it is the product of Islamic creationist efforts like those of Harun Yahya who wrote such classics as Darwinism Refuted and Atlas of Creation – which are given to schools free – who tried to have The God Delusion banned. The thread on the forum part of the site discussing the issue is here.
While the usual official banning notice came up, there was no link to the court order and reference number (as would be expected). Into this void we are left with speculation as to why this happened, or whether this was simply an accident or someone jumping the gun.
Richard Dawkins has talked about the freedom that computers and the internet give (see earlier blog here). That freedom will be challenged, under the guise of security, protection of vulnerable citizens or even as a promotion of freedom by denying others liberty to express dissenting opinions. We should be concerned, because we have a right to listen to what other people would say to us if they could.