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Middle East

Turkey seeks to curb Internet freedom

  • Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for counter-terrorism cooperation at the Istana in Singapore January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

ISTANBUL: The Turkish government has moved to impose strict controls on the Internet by monitoring the activities of online users and blocking certain keywords, a parliamentary source said on Thursday.

A bill has been submitted to parliament in the latest in a string of government moves testing freedom of expression in the aspiring EU member state.

The proposed legislation will allow the authorities to block keywords deemed problematic and limit access to video-sharing websites that include them, the source said.

It will allow officials to keep a record of all activities of Internet users for two years and monitor which websites they have visited, which keywords they have searched for and their activities on social networking sites.

"The draft bill is designed to 'protect the family, children and youth from items on the Internet that encourage drug addiction, sexual abuse and suicide," Hurriyet newspaper said.

In December, Google released data showing that Turkey topped the Internet giant's content removal request list.

 
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