Turkish Government Says Online Freedom Is Like Violence Against Women
from the I-don't-even dept
As anyone who has been following the news knows, Turkey has been going through a turbulent patch recently. It’s also been trying to control dissenting voices online, as Techdirt has reported. So it comes as no surprise that it is bringing in even stricter censorship laws:
Amendments under debate in parliament to Turkish Law No. 5651, which governs all Internet content in the country, are the latest assault on freedom of expression in Turkey. The law was originally enacted in May 2007 to curb access to YouTube videos and online pornography, but the Turkish government regularly hides behind this law and others like it to filter or block content it disfavors, including advocacy for Kurdish rights. The independent press agency Bianet estimated that 110,000 websites were blocked in 2011 alone, while Google reported Turkish requests to remove content from the web rose nearly 1000% last year.
Proposed amendments to Law No. 5651 would provide for additional penalties on authors, content providers, and users of content it deems inappropriate with no effective means of redress.
What is surprising, though, is that alongside legislative changes, the Turkish government has also embarked on a bizarre advertising push:
The Turkish government started a new campaign against “too much freedom.” Next to an image of a beaten woman is a line that translates “Violence is a crime. What about the Internet? Absence of rules does not mean liberty!”, equating surfing the Internet freely and expressing opinions with using violence against someone.
This is Nicolas Sarkozy’s “Internet as Wild West” trope pushed to extremes that even he would never have dared to explore.