Academics condemn new Internet filters
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Thousands of people joined protests that were organized in Istanbul in May 2011 against the Internet filtering packages. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Fifteen academics from a variety of Turkish universities’ communication faculties have signed a declaration protesting the country’s recent Internet filter package which requires web users to choose one of two content-filtering packages.
The scholars defined the filter as “arbitrary, state-run, centralized censorship” in their declaration yesterday in Ankara.
“Having filter options cannot hide the state’s censorship. Filtering application is limiting freedom of expression. The monotype, family-friendly form is being imposed across society,” they said in their statement.
Turkey is the only country in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) whose Internet is filtered by one state-run institution, the declaration said, adding that countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China and Iran were also using this system.
The Internet filtration system, controlled by Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) has been in use since Nov. 22, 2011. Of the nearly 11.5 million active Internet users in Turkey, 22,000 are utilizing the secure Internet profile.
The decision to implement the filters has prompted anger from Internet users who have expressed concerns that the government will use the measures to censor online information.