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

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.