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20. 01. 2015

Turkish cabinet members "may get right to block internet"

20.1.2015 (Tanjug, B92) - ANKARA -- The Turkish prime minister and any cabinet member could be given the right to block any website, without a court order.

A new bill submitted to the Turkish parliament envisages that government members may use this right "for broad reasons such as protection of public order," the daily Hurriyet reported.

If passed, the law would give the ministers the authority to demand that the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) closes websites "within four hours on the basis of national security, protecting public order or preventing crime."

A last-minute amendment to this effect was submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Similar legislation was passed on Sept. 10 last year "sparking protests from internet rights groups," the newspaper reported on its website.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the changes, "arguing that they further restricted internet use in Turkey and increased the government's control of web traffic."

On Oct. 2, 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled as "unconstitutional" the TIB's authority to close websites within four hours without a court ruling, the Hurriyet said.


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