Turkish Parliament amends Internet bill after Gül’s last-minute intervention
DAILY NEWS PhotoThe Turkish Parliament has approved partial amendments to the much-discussed Internet Law, resolving issues that President Abdullah Gül had asked the government to address.
However, the presidency communicated with the Justice Ministry late Feb. 25 after a number of ruling party lawmakers launched an initiative to increase the authority of the head of the Telecommunications Board (TİB) in the event of a cyber-attack.
A 26-article omnibus bill containing modifications to the Internet Law in line with Gül’s suggestions was approved by Parliament early Feb. 26. According to the approved amendments, the TİB can only ask for limited information concerning users’ Internet traffic from service providers upon a court decision, such as IP addresses, the duration of service, and subscription details. The content of the web communications has been removed from the definition of Internet traffic.
The head of the TİB will have to seek a court decision within 24 hours to justify his decision to prohibit access to certain websites. The court, to be designated by the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), will have to give its verdict within 48 hours after the appeal of the TİB head.
Meanwhile, an attempt by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers to endow the TİB head with the authority to cut all web access in the event of a cyber-attack has been nixed after a message from the presidency was conveyed to the Justice Ministry, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned.
The bill will enter into force after President Gül has signed it into law.