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Turkey Considering Law that Would Severely Circumscribe Internet Users' Privacy

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 11 2012

The Turkish government is considering legislation which, if passed, would require Internet users to submit a password and their national identity number to gain online access, reports Digital Civil Rights in Europe (EDRI).

The commission’s “Draft Law on the Regulation of Informatics Network Services and Informatics Crime” includes other grave proposals: - to establish “Internet Monitoring Center”, which had been put on the agenda five years ago but then suspended, under TIB (Telecommunications and Communications Commission) in order to monitor and audit the entire Internet medium; - to make it mandatory for service and hosting providers to keep their records for five years, which would mean a further violation of privacy; to oblige “service providers” to intervene in “unfavorable” broadcasting; - to make heavier punishments of hacking.

The proposal that crowns this draft law is “to make it obligatory to enter a password accessing the Internet so that all the operations of Internet users can be recorded”.

EDRI notes that in addition to violating ethics related to the right of privacy, the proposed law violates both the Turkish constitution and European Union law. Turkey's bid for membership in the EU has been stalled for years due to the opposition of key member states like France. This subject is a sore one in Turkey, which has recently been focusing its foreign policy on the Arab Middle East
— where it ruled large swathes of territory in the days of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey is a member of NATO and the Council of Europe.