The Turkish parliament has approved a new law giving the government broad powers to censor the Internet without judicial process.
The new measures give Turkey’s telecommunications authority (TIB) the legal power to block any website within four hours, without having to apply for a court order. Anyone opposing a blocking decision will have to obtain a court order to have it reversed.
The law, which awaits the signature of president Abdullah Gül before coming into effect, will also require networks to retain “data on web users’ activities” for two years, making it available to the authorities on request.
Özgür Uçkan, professor at the communications department of Bilgi University in Istanbul, told the Guardian that the new law was “catastrophic for Turkey”.
It makes censorship and surveillance legal in Turkey, which is contrary to our constitution and to all international conventions that Turkey is party to.
The law will turn the TIB into an NSA-like body. What is more is that any bureaucrat can now decide to take down a certain website without having to apply for a court order, but you will need to take that decision to court in order to get it reversed.
For more information, see Turkey pushes through new raft of ‘draconian’ internet restrictions – The Guardian.