This week, the Turkish Parliament passed a series of laws, including changes about Internet privacy. Accordingly, now, the Telecommunication Transmission Directorate (TİB), a government agency, will monitor every single Internet user in Turkey and even archive his or her browsing history. Moreover, the TİB will be tied to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which, for decades, has been infamous for spying on Turkey’s own citizens more than anyone else.
In the other words, with this new law, every Internet user in Turkey will be legally watched by the government. In the past, authorities would have this right only with a court order and for specific individuals. Now, there will be no need for any court order.
Notably, the government had to pass the same law last winter, but it was prevented behind the scenes by former President Abdullah Gül, then the only individual in power who was still seriously committed to the principles of liberal democracy. As fellow Hurriyet Daily News columnist Serkan Demirtaş explained:
“The changes introduced to Parliament late Sept. 8 are deemed to be a follow-up to the previous government’s initiative to increase its control over the Internet in early 2014. At that time, then President Abdullah Gül urged the government to soften the law by hinting that he might not sign it into law. However, the provisions that Gül demanded to be removed from the law in February have allegedly been re-installed, less than two weeks since Gül left office.” (New Turkey further tightens Internet control, Sept. 10, 2014)