A new law to control internet in Turkey

A new law to control internet in Turkey

The Turkish government has introduced in Parliament a bill that requires a very strict control on the internet. This requires the authorization of internet used activities’ surveillance or blocking specific keywords.

This text should allow the government authority in charge of telecommunications to restrict access to video sharing sites, but also to retain for two years internet users’ activities and the websites or social networks visited and the keywords they used.

If this project is meant to “protect the family, children and youth of such information on the internet, encouraging drug use, sexual abuse and suicide”,  according to the Hürriyet newspaper , which revealed the information, it also creates controversy. According to the newspaper, the Islamic-conservative government would also consider creating a new entity to which all Internet service providers would be forced to belong.

In Google latest Transparency Report, the Internet giant ranked Turkey, with China at the forefront of web censors , with 966 % raise for the number of requests where information was withdrawn during the last six months .

“Turkey is not China and never will “, as the Deputy Prime Minister and AKP spokesman Huseyin Celik commented about the text submitted to the Parliament.

“There is a consensus in many countries for laws to regulate the internet and social networks. We can set up rules based on the standards in place elsewhere in the world, ” he said.

In 2008, YouTube was banned in Turkey after airing scenes of supporters of the Greek football team making fun of the Turks. The ban was lifted, however, two years later, on a court decision. This Jan. 9th, it was then Vimeo, another video sharing platform to be blocked, following a decision of the government party. Vimeo was actually recently used by some people to relay anti -government protests of the last summer..

The Turkish Prime Minister himself Recep Tayyip Erdogan is known as a strong opponent of social networks. During the anti-government revolt in June, he thus stated that Twitter was a “troublemaker” communication tool for protesters – who were calling for his resignation.

“The government is trying to silence the internet and social media, as it did with the media following the investigation about the Turkish leader corruption ,” said Emrehan Halici , HPC’s vice president.

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