CCIA Deeply Concerned by Turkish Government Threat to Block Internet Services, Social Media

BY Heather Greenfield
March 7, 2014

Brussels/Geneva —  The Computer & Communications Industry Association was, like many others, troubled to hear reports yesterday that the Government of Turkey is considering widespread additional restrictions on social media and major Internet services. This was especially concerning given that legislation passed only weeks ago put the Internet under greater governmental control through measures including allowing the Turkish telecoms regulator to block websites without a judicial decision.

The following may be attributed to CCIA Brussels Director Jakob Kucharczyk:

“The developments in Turkey are disappointing as they follow years of more Internet openness in Turkey and growing Internet usage for everything from information gathering to political commentary. In our modern, digitally connected world, to which also Turkey belongs, these sites play a very important role for citizens to express their opinions and political views. Blocking them won’t eliminate criticism. From the perspective of the digital economy, threats like these will create legal and economic uncertainty and damage the attractiveness of Turkey for both inward investment and home-grown entrepreneurship.”

The following may be attributed to Nick Ashton-Hart, CCIA’s Geneva Representative:

“The Internet cannot solve, just as it cannot create, social problems, but regulating the Internet in order to try is as popular in countries worldwide as it is unsuccessful. It would be quite tragic if Turkey were to return to policies that block or limit Internet services since previous measures like this did not actually eliminate access to the very materials that provoked them. There’s no reason to believe attempts now would be any more successful than past efforts were.”

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