Turkey considering shutting down web sites without a warrant

In its latest attempt to control the internet, the Turkish government announced it’s looking into a bill that would grant powers to block any site that is considered as threatening “national security and public order” without an immediate court order.

The bill would give a green light to the prime minister and communication minister to make such decisions.

“If a situation concerning … public order and national security [arises] … the prime ministry, TİB [Telecommunications Directorate] will be able to temporarily remove content or block access,”Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan told reporters.

He noted that even though the website could be shut down immediately, a court order would still have to be filed “within 24 hours.”

“The judge shall announce his decision within 48 hours from the time of [action]; otherwise, the [prohibition] shall automatically be lifted.”

There is a similarity to that and our own anti-terror legislation, except that the Turks are dealing the the comunications end of terrorism, whereas John Key is more concerned about keeping wanna-be terrorists from messing up our reputation by stopping them going overseas to fight.  

The new draft bill also discusses penalties for not cooperating and includes fines up to 500,000 lira (US$215,000).

Turkey has already blocked websites such as Twitter and YouTube under court order in the past, citing security reasons.

The decision to turn off Twitter on March 21 came after audio recordings allegedly proving corruption among Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s associates were posted on the site.

Meanwhile, the access to YouTube was cut off on March 27 after an explosive leak of audiotapes, which appeared to show ministers talking about provoking military intervention in Syria, was uploaded to the site.

This sort of legislation is very very tempting when you are faced with something on the Internet you don’t want.  For example, John Key could have shut down Twitter to stop further Whaledump releases by citing it was protecting its citizens.

All very well if you agree with the gag, but if you don’t it is a chilling power for government to wield.

Still.  If they can’t justify it withing 48 hours, they have to released the web site and be subject to the Streissand Effect.


– RT


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  • Reid

    Geographically, historically and culturally Turkey are the bridge between East and West. They’re the fulcrum therefore you see it as a test market for certain political kites in much the same way in other arenas you see NZ used for, such as things like EftPos.

    • dgrogan

      In that case, we’re heading for trouble as, Erdoğan is sympathetic to the adoption of Sharia Law.

      • Isherman

        I’ve said it since day one with Erdogan, and the AKP, he’s an Islamist in all but bushy beard. In short, he’s the sort of leader that Attaturk wanted to prevent.

        • LabTested

          “Democracy is just a train you ride until you are ready to disembark”. – Erdogan

          and here is another quote….

  • Orion

    Turkey is on its way to radical Islam and Europe wants it to be part of the EU. My god the world really is stupid.

  • Michael Dunn

    This looks like a law and order issue, to allow authorities to quickly block sites that may pose a threat to civil security. The review within 48 hours means that the authorities will have to explain their reasons for acting. Contrast that with the situation here in Tajikistan where’s the authorities can and do order telcos to block access to specific websites or even to the international web network. For example, access to F***book has been blocked here for the past 30 days or so. It was accessible when I arrived here, but now no longer, unless you have a satellite connection. And yet there is no recourse or redress available to the million or more people so affected. So The people of Turkey should consider themselves fortunate!