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Turkey’s Internet Bill - Law No. 5651

16th February 2014

Will he or won’t he sign the much anticipated Internet bill?

The amended Internet bill is currently pending the approval of President Abdullah Gül, who has until Feb. 25 to either sign it into law or veto it.

The draft bill is an amendment to the current Law No. 5651, widely known as Turkey’s Internet Law, which came into effect in July 2007.

The new legislation allows government ministers to block websites and fine those who refuse to remove web content deemed to ‘infringe privacy’.
Please see YellAli's previous article:-
Draft bill for Internet limitations in Turkey

Many are concerned the bill will restrict freedom of expression, however, the Turkish government has released a memo in both Turkish and English, stating that’s it;s Internet bill does not constitute censorship and explains what Law No. 5651 will bring :-

“In the event of an ‘infringement of individual rights,” such as slander, calumny, libel and abuse, the only institution with the authority to take a decision will be the penal court of peace. In such cases, the individual whose personal rights are claimed to be infringed will go to the penal court of peace and the judge will deliver the decision in 24 hours without a trial. If the decision is in favor of the complainant, access to the URL in question will be prevented in the next four hours by the Union of the Service Providers. The Union, by informing all of access providers, will prevent access to the specific URL, not the whole website.

“In the event of a breach of ‘a person’s privacy,’ such as illegal wiretapping and the sharing of personal data without consent, in order to prevent irreversible damage that could be caused by the “time lag” between the complaint of the individual and the decision of the court, the bill will make it possible to implement a temporary prevention of access. When an individual raises a complaint, the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communications will send the request to the Union of Access Providers, which will block the URL within the next four hours as a preventive measure.

“The complainant should also file his request to the penal court of peace within 24 hours and the decision of the court should be given within the next 48 hours. If the decision of the court is not in favor of the complainant, the restriction on access to the URL will be removed by the Union. Unless a decision by the court is not delivered to the Union within 48 hours, the restriction will be automatically removed.”

In the memo, the government defends the bill by claiming that it will improve current practices.

More information about Turkey's Internet Law (No. 5651) can be found here: TIB - F.A.Q's

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