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Turkey locks down its local internet

Draft law adopted
Thu Feb 06 2014, 13:46
Policeman in front of no entry sign

THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT has adopted draft rules that close a vice-like grip on the throat of the internet.

The draft rules adopted this week give the Turkish government the sort of internet control that all governments either want or take anyway away from prying eyes.

A report at the website, said that the Parliamentary General Assembly went along with plans despite some opposition, and will allow for quick decisions on whether a website should be shut down and whether any discussion or warning should be shared with targeted websites.

Turkish Law 5651 is supposed to be seen as an upturned nose response to "insulting" online unpleasantries, such as drugs and suicide, but it is much more like a size 12 boot on the face of the internet.

Last month Reporters without Borders, urged British parliamentarians to reject what it called a "draconian" bill that limits freedom, takes away the right to protest, increases penalties and hands too much power to the state.

"Its adoption would be fraught with consequences for the fundamental freedoms of internet users and the Turkish digital economy. We urge parliamentarians to revise this bill completely in consultation with civil society and taking account of the European Court of Human Rights' criticism of current legislation," it said in a statement.

"This bill is all the more disturbing for seeming to be an integral component of a series of draconian statements and initiatives by the authorities in recent months. In the face of unparalleled protests starting last summer and now ensnared in corruption scandals of unprecedented scale."

The Turkish telecoms companies and internet service providers will be required to keep readily accessible databases of their users' communications for at least two years, and the president of the Turkish Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB) will have red button authority to block access to websites and webpages at whim. µ


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