Turkey’s general assembly ratifies Internet bill

Photo: Turkey’s general assembly ratifies Internet bill / Turkey

Turkish parliament passed late on Tuesday an omnibus bill including new regulations on Internet usage which gives more power to the country's national telecommunications authority (TIB) Anadolu Agency reported.

The TIB's decision to block access will be sent to the relevant court within 24 hours, and the court will be required to rule on the decision within 48 hours, according to the new law.

TIB's authorization to block access to any web pages that they decide have breached privacy rights within four hours, without any court order was the most criticized measure of the bill.

If the court annuls the decision, the blockage will be lifted by the TIB.

According to the new law, Internet traffic information was redefined and it will be collected through IP numbers, subscriber numbers, subscription information from the Internet provider service, the type of service and the amount of data used.

President Abdullah Gul signed the bill last week and immediately after the bill's ratification, Turkey's ruling AK Party submitted an amendment package to the parliament to revise the points in question.

The previous draft allowed TIB to block access to particular parts of websites without prior court approval, inducing opposition and media claims that the government wants to shut down the Internet.

In 2013, almost half of Turkey's population were internet users. The estimated number of Twitter users is 12 million and more than 32 million people in the country use Facebook out of the the country's total population of about 77 million.

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