Turkish government to acquire a tool to censor social media?

Turkish media reports that the government intends to buy NetClean
software to remove unwanted material from Twitter. The negotiations are
said to be ongoing with an exorbitant price tag of 40 million euros.

NetClean is a Swedish software company that specializes in providing
“intelligence solutions to block, detect and analyse digital media”. The
Turkish government claims that the reason for planning the acquisition
enabling censoring Twitter is to fight child porn. The website of
NetClean also specifies that the overall goal of their products is
“furthering the fight against child sexual abuse content”. However,
considering the recent occurrences related to social media blocking and
censorship in Turkey, it seems obvious there are other reasons behind
it. A simple web search with words “Twitter ban Turkey” results a list
of links that reveal numerous potential reasons why the Turkish
government would be eager to censor social media in the country, and the
absence of links pointing to any reason related to child pornography is
self-evident.

In Turkey mass media are widely considered to be directly or indirectly
under the control of the government or entities which are dependent on
government contracts. Twitter has become an important tool for freedom
of expression in the country. It was one of the most important sources
of reliable news during the Taksim Gezi uprising in June 2013. At the
beginning of 2014 recordings alleging corruption of Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and some of the members of his cabinet were posted to
Twitter, and the government responded by blocking the social media
platform in Turkey. The ban was lifted after the ruling on 2 April 2014
by the Constitutional Court.

Censorship for child pornography being prepared (10.06.2014)
http://www.taraf.com.tr/haber-sansure-cocuk-pornosu-kilifi-hazirlaniyor-156496/

Twitter “net cleaning” begins (30.05.2014)
http://www.sabah.com.tr/Ekonomi/2014/05/30/twitterda-net-temizlik-basliyor

NetClean
https://www.netclean.com/

(Contribution by Melih Kirlidog, EDRi member Alternatif Bilisim, Turkey)

Source: http://edri.org/edri-gram/edri-gram-12-12-18-june-2014

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