Alternative Information Technologies Association applied to the Council of State for the cancellation of central Internet filtering system which will be enforced by Turkish Telecommunication Authority, Information Communications and Technology Agency (ICTA) by November 22nd 2011.
The first resoluton was prepared and published on February 22 in 2011 and presented in the form of “Safe Internet Application” by ICTA has been severely criticized by the public and then withdrawn by the ICTA. Subsequent to this event the decision has been revised and the new version was published on 16 September. However, at the new resolution illegalities and cencorship has been continued. For this reason, our Association applied to the Council of State for the cancellation of central internet filtering system on 4 November 2011.
In this case our main appeal points are:
The decision of the ICTA is devoid of legal basis. Safe Internet application is disproportionately limiting fundemantel rights and freedoms. According to the Turkish Constitution Article 13 the fundemantel rights and freedoms can be restricted only by law. For his reason, this resolution is devoid of legal basis.
“Principle and Procedures for Safe Internet Service” is a regulatory administrative process which is going to be implemented throughout the country and affect millions of people. ICTA has regulated a field with an administrative process which is not regulated by laws. ICTA is not authorized to give such a decision. Principal regulatory authorty is the legislative branch.
A resolution should be published in Offical Gazette to get the legal value. Therefore cancellation of the entire resolution is required which is not published in the Offical Gazette.
Contrary to the assertion ICTA’s resolution not based only on a voluntary basis. Internet service providers wouldn’t deny the list provided by the administration, and wouldn’t avoid setting up the infrastructure with regard this. The administration by exceeding its authority and using the privileges of public power has made an arrangement obligatory which affects millions.
The Child and Family Profile Criterias Working Board which is shown as a positive development in the arrangement is not defined in any law and structured according to the arbitrary choices of ICTA. The members of this Board shall be appointed by the Ministry and the Autority without regard to any criterion. Issues such as The Board’s working methods and personal rights of the members hasn’t regulated according to the Procedure and Principles. It is not possible for this Board to work and take the decisions independently The only reason for the establishment of the board is to prevent the ICTA from the claims that the ICTA acts arbitrary.
ICTA will determine the principles of filtering the Internet sites. But there is no limit on this issue. For example, in family profile, ICTA can both block off the sites that contain violence and political issues. However, such a decision can easily influence fundemantel rights and freedoms, should be regulated.
We’d like to the draw attention of hazards for users when the filtering system will enter into force on November 22nd 2011.
This is a central filtering cencorship which is carried out by the State.
Filtering will be “implented by the State centrally”. ICTA will determine the sites that users of the service access or not. There is no freedom of citizens to change the contents of the filtering list. As long as they use this profile they don’t have the opportunity to access the sites that the State does not allow.
Safe Internet Deception
By saying “Safe Internet” the State is deceiving the public. This is an censored Internet service. The correct expression shoul be the “Safe Use of the Internet”. This is possible with digital literacy and new media literacy not with filters. The only way is the education and awareness. Security can’t be provided with filters.
Another illusion is that the narrative that “the lists will be prepared by the experts in consultation with the community.” 8 of 12 members of this Board which will be formed for his purpose, is appointed by the Government. The contents of the lists will be determined by the ICTA according to these criteria. In other words, the ICTA will say the final word. This shows how does the process not civil, not transparent and not to open to inspection.
On 22 November 2011 Internet in Turkey will be “filtered” not “safe” as it was claimed. This application will take away the citicens freedom of choice, passivate the citizens and lead to atropht of digital skills. This will restrict the citizens right to receive and access information, communication and right to organize that are fundemantel rights and freedoms.
We again invite the public to react to cencorship and protect their Internet.
Alternative Information Technologies Association
November 14th 2011
Ali Rıza KELEŞ firstname.lastname@example.org