The Turkish government has tightened its grip over the country's internet, following the introduction of new laws. Previously, the country had blocked most social networks to prevent politics from being discussed, but the country's online population had used virtual private networks, or VPNs, to side-step the regulations. However, new blocks put in place in December 2016 mean that it is now almost impossible to access these VPNs unless the user is highly technologically knowledgeable. The changes were made public by the Turkish censorship tracking organisation, Turkey Blocks, who wrote that this has shifted “Turkey's internet censorship regime from moderate to severe in character”, likening it to the “walled garden model of internet access like that imposed by China's Great Firewall”. Increased online censorship in the country has become more common since the current government survived an attempted coup in early 2016, during which authorities shut down almost all online communications to protect itself.