Turkey mulls leaving World Wide Web, minister says

Photo: Turkey mulls leaving World Wide Web, minister says / Turkey

Lutfi Elvan, Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication, has said Turkey may leave the World Wide Web (www) to establish its own "ttt" protocol amid the Turkish government's efforts to rein in global websites including Twitter and YouTube, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

During an informal meeting with journalists in the Parliament on April 19, Elvan argued that not only Turkey, but also several European Union countries mull to establish "their own national Internet protocols."

"Instead of www, a ttt system can be formed. Turkey and other countries can establish their own domains. Such a move would detach the Internet systems from each other. This is a controversial issue," Elvan said.

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks, while the web is one of the services that runs on the Internet. The hostname of a web server is often www, but the use of www is not required by any technical or policy standard and many web sites do not use it.

Elvan also called for an "international convention" to cope with the "the lack of control over social media."

The minister said: "The only source address of social media is U.S.-based companies. That's why, EU countries led by Germany and France have also problems with it. These countries are in talks with the U.S. Social media should have a joint international text of rules like the United Nations Charter. Otherwise, countries may form their own Internet domains to have more security."

Elvan's statement needs clarification, experts say, as it has not been previously known that any country, even China with its powerful censorship tool "Great Firewall", has left or plans to leave the main backbone of the Internet, which may lead to the establishment of "national intranets."

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system, did not reply to Hurriyet Daily News' query seeking comment on April 19.

"We have reached a consensus to 'neutralize' malicious content that is the object of court decisions by pixelating," Elvan had said in a written statement on April 17.

YouTube remains blocked in Turkey since March 27 despite a court order.

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