Do you remember the protests around #GeziPark in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2013? People were heavily using Twitter and other social media to mobilize and organize an opposition against Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government. Since then, the Internet is Erdogan’s personal enemy.
If we look at a rough timeline of Erdogan’s recent turkish government decisions on internet policy:
- February 2014: Turkey passes a new internet law No 5651, to censor the web and for data retention (Guardian, BoingBoing). content:
- block any website within four hours without first seeking a court ruling
- store all data on web users’ activities for two years and make it available to the authorities upon request
- March 2014: Turkish government blocks Youtube and Twitter ahead of national elections. (anmnesty international)
- April – June 2014: Twitter compiles with court decisions to aid and assist Turkish authorities in ceonsoring political content. (Daily Sabah)
- May to July 2014: Turkey blocks access to approximately 48.000 websites
… we can see that Internet governance in Turkey equals censorshop. However …
- September 2014: Istanbul, Turkey, welcomes the world as host country of the Internet Governance Forum, to discuss the future of internet governance.
What t f?
#IGF2014’s agenda is about reforming ICANN, privacy, fundamental rights, surveillance and net neutrality. Now, guess, who sends most participants into the discussions and decisions about these important topics? Erdogan’s government and authorities.
If you are interested in more details about Turkish governments attack on the internet, read why Yaman Akdeniz and Kerem Altiparmak are boycotting the Internet Governance Forum.
Both are speaking at the Internet Ungovernance Forum, instead. It’s first sentence reads:
We’re organizing the Internet Ungovernance Forum on September 4-5, for people who demand that fundamental freedoms, openness, unity and net neutrality remain the building blocks of the Internet.