Friday, March 11, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes . . .

Internet freedom in Turkey is drifting closer to the Orwellian as the Prime Ministry's Information and Technology Board plans to implement new regulations on the Internet. From Ersu Ablak writing in Hurriyet Daily News:
After Aug. 22 we will have a totally different system. The government is so kind and father-like that it wants us to be fully protected from any kind of harm that the Internet can bring about. This is why they have decided to provide Internet services to us filtered from the source. It is too much hassle to ban websites one by one, therefore they will have bundles and lists. According to the current plans there will be four types of bundles available.

These will be called Standart Profile (Standart Profil), Children’s Profile (Çocuk Profili), Family Profile (Aile Profili) and Domestic Internet Profile (Yurtiçi İnternet Profili). All of these profiles will be censored to various degrees so that we will be protected just as our profile needs to be, because our government knows best.

Each profile will have two lists assigned; A black one and a white one. In the black list there will be websites that will be banned and in the white one there will be websites that are allowed to be surfed.

The government says that they ban websites at the source so that our children will be fully protected. There will be no room for the human error of parents. Banning websites will be fully automatic. However, the people who will be in charge of these practices and the standardization of establishing these lists are very vague. The government will be able to censor any website at will. You won’t even notice it.
The regulation is entitled “Rules and Procedures of the Safety of Internet Use” and was passed just this February. As if Turkey's current (2006) Internet law was not bad enough . . . let's hope the government turns an about course.

Also, on another note, as far as I can tell the ban on Blogspot (and this blog) is still on.

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