A re-fashioned Internet Censorship Bill is about to be proposed. The question is, ARE YOU READY FOR IT?
In order to increase censorship and surveillance online, the Turkish government is proposing changes to the Law No 5651, otherwise known as “The Regulation of Online Publishing and Act Against Crimes Committed Through Online Content.”
This does not bode well for the freedom of speech online. The proposed changes ensure that censorship will become ever more present in the future with the amendment to Law No: 5651. You can expect the following:
· New methods of blocking “harmful” content will be implemented. Rather than censoring the entire website, these methods will target the direct URL of infringing sites.
· Content that “denigrates particular sections of the society on account of social status, race, religion, sect, gender, region of origin” will be treated as a crime that warrants censorship.
· The Internet Service Providers will be required to keep track of personal data and conduct sweeping surveillance on behalf of the government.
· The new blocking methods will make it impossible to access the censored content by merely changing DNS settings.
· The changes bear the possibility to outlaw any blogs in Turkey other than food, fashion, and travel blogs. Those that include political commentary in particular will be suspect.
· New regulations will harm the Internet Service Providers who will, then, likely move their operations outside of Turkey.
· Social media sites that our Prime Minister has characterized as “Menace called Twitter” and “Ugly technology Facebook” will be censored much easier.
· Citizen journalism and independent media will be hit hardest.
Since the likely changes that this amendment will bring are against the spirit of the Internet as we see it, we as the Turkish Pirate Party, have penned a declaration that denounces this particular law and the proposed changes to it. We invite you to read the entire declaration and, if possible, support it. Stakes cannot be any higher.