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Deutsch: Türkei führt Internetfilter ein
Turkish Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK) launched the Internet safety scheme on 22 November 2011, as planned, but on a voluntary basis, following the fierce criticism and opposition to the original plans to introduce a mandatory filtering system.
Internet users may sign up with their ISPs for the free of charge filtering system which blocks "objectionable content", being able to choose from three variants: child, family and domestic. When an Internet user wants to choose one of the filtering variants, BTK issues a new user name and password enabling the user's access to the chosen filtering system. The users who want to stop using the Internet filtering can change back to a standard no-filter profile.
Although voluntary, the system still raises concerns, one of them being the supervision of the system by a new committee called Child and Family Profiles Criteria Working Committee which, in the opinion of law professor Yaman Akdeniz of Bilgi University in Istanbul "... does not look independent nor impartial." The professor also believes that the state authorities may be in the position to impose moral values.
More worrying is the fact that the filter blocks not only adult content, but some 130 search terms, including "separatist" content from the PKK and Kurdish rights groups. "I also believe that the Turkish authorities are not only trying to protect children but also adults from the 'so called harmful content '," said Akdeniz.
Moreover, as frequently proven by liberty activists and IT experts, filtering is not a real solution to solve real Internet threats to children. Filters are easy to circumvent, costly and, in most of the case, can lead to blocking innocent content in the process.
State censorship can be easily masked by apparently justified reasons such as threats to family and children. Under the cover of protecting children, governments may try to include political censorship by including on the filtering list words that relate more to political criticism and opposition than to child pornography or terrorism.
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