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[February 06, 2014]
Turkey Hitler jibe in internet censorship storm
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Turkish government has been accused of imposing draconian censorship after pushing harsh new internet curbs through parliament. The internet law was met with outrage in Turkey, with opposition parties accusing the government of wanting to introduce ever tighter control by bypassing the courts.
The regulations were adopted after a heated parliamentary debate on Wednesday, during which one MP of the main opposition People's Republican party (CHP) compared the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Hitler. The law now needs to be signed by the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, to come into effect.
The new measures will allow Turkey's telecommunications authority (TIB) to block any website within 24 hours. The law also obliges internet providers to store all data on web users' activities for two years and make it available to the authorities upon request.
The deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, rejected talk of censorship. "We are freer and have more press freedom than many other countries," he said.
However, critics say the law violates citizens' rights to freedom of expression and privacy rights, turning Turkey into an Orwellian surveillance state. Constanze Letsch Istanbul (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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