Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey

Cyber-Rights.Org.TR » Internet: Restricted Access: Internet: Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey (Released on 25 November, 2008)

By Dr. Yaman Akdeniz & Dr. Kerem Altıparmak

Published with the support of ‘Freedom of Expression’ Programme of İnsan Hakları Ortak Platformu.

Executive Summary
There may be different approaches to the growth of the Internet in different societies and the impact of the Internet on different nation-states may have different results. Different nation-states present a different level of economic development, respect for rights, trans-nationality, and technological sophistication. While Turkey may be considered at a developing stage with respect to the Internet, others may be far more sophisticated with regards to Internet access, use, and penetration. Inevitably, this will be reflected in the policy making process and approaches to the governance of the Internet. Because of cultural, historical and socio-political diversity, there will inevitably be divergent approaches to the growth and governance of the Internet in different European societies. For example, while the German and French governments have political fears and sensitivities about the use of the Internet by Neo-Nazis, the United Kingdom takes a more relaxed attitude to the dangers of racism but conversely has a long cultural tradition of repression towards the availability of sexually explicit material. On the other hand, the Turkish government may be more concerned about defamatory statements made in relation to state officials and politicians, other values related to the State and the dissemination of racist and terrorist propaganda. No doubt, those concerns must not lead to the violation of international standards for the protection of freedom of expression in democratic societies.

Restricted Access by Yaman Akdeniz & Kerem Altıparmak assesses the nature of Internet content regulation and censorship in Turkey by providing an overview of the current legislative regime from a critical perspective. This will include legislative attempts to regulate Internet content in Turkey as well as a critical assessment of the recently enacted Law No. 5651 on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by means of Such Publications and its related regulations. This will also include an analysis of the legal responsibilities of various actors including content providers, hosting companies, access providers (ISPs), and Internet cafes. The book also assesses how the current regulatory systems work and how websites, predominantly situated outside the Turkish jurisdiction, are blocked by court and administrative orders by giving examples. The book also assesses blocking orders which fall outside the scope of the new legislation.

Freedom of expression has been one of the key issues in Turkey’s democratisation process. The European Court of Human Rights has found Turkey in violation of the ECHR in a number of article 10 cases. The new Turkish law on Internet contains provisions that have potential to cause similar violations. Thus, this study examines the new regulations bearing this situation in mind. The book also contains an overview of international developments with regards to Internet content regulation at the European Union, and Council of Europe levels.

In Restricted Access, the authors Akdeniz & Altıparmak argue that Law No. 5651 was rushed through the Parliament just before the Parliament was dissolved for the 2007 general elections, and it has received no broad public support before or after its enactment. More importantly, the authors identify several problems and procedural defects with the application of Law No. 5651. Furthermore, Akdeniz & Altıparmak argue that the current Turkish regime, through its procedural and substantive deficiencies, is designed to censor and silence political speech. Its impacts are wide, affecting not only freedom of speech but also the right to privacy and fair trial. In its conclusion, Restricted Access calls for the abolishment of the Law No. 5651, and calls upon the government, among other recommendations, to commission a major public inquiry to develop a new policy which is truly designed to protect children from harmful Internet content while respecting freedom of speech, and the rights of Turkish adults to access and consume any type of Internet content.

About the Authors

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz is a Senior lecturer (Associate Professor) at the School of Law, University of Leeds. Akdeniz is the founder of Cyber-Rights.Org based in the UK, and the co-founder of BilgiEdinmeHakki.org, a pressure group working in the field of freedom of information law in Turkey. His recent publications include Internet Child Pornography and the Law: National and International Responses (London: Ashgate, 2008: ISBN: 0 7546 2297 5). For further information about his work see http://cyberlaw.org.uk. Akdeniz can be contacted at lawya@cyber-rights.org

Dr. Kerem Altıparmak is an Assistant Professor at the Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. He is also responsible for a number of projects carried out by the Human Rights Centre of the Faculty. He is the author of numerous works on human rights in Turkey. His interest areas include freedom of expression, ECHR, national human rights institutions. For further information about his work see Altıparmak can be contacted at kerem.altiparmak@politics.ankara.edu.tr

How to obtain the Book: Internet: Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey can be obtained through the following websites: http://www.cyber-rights.org.tr; http://cyberlaw.org.uk; and http://www.ihop.org.tr/ as an e-book in PDF format, and versions in Turkish and English will be both available from Tuesday, 25 November, 2008. Furthermore, paper copies of the book can be obtained through bookshops in Turkey.

1. Internet: Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey - black/white version
2. Internet: Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey - colour version

Monday, November 10, 2008


Cambridge, MA – November 10, 2008 – The Berkman Center for Internet and Society's Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP), together with the Online News Association, Media Bloggers Association, New England Press Association, and Globe Newspaper Company, publisher of The Boston Globe and Boston.com, this week urged a broad reading of Massachusetts' anti-SLAPP law in a friend-of-the-court filing.

The amici curiae brief was filed in the case of Dugas v. Robbins, Case No. BACV2008-491, pending in Massachusetts Superior Court in Barnstable. The case concerns allegations of defamation against a blogger on Cape Cod. The Court is considering the defendant's motion to dismiss the lawsuit under the Commonwealth's anti-SLAPP law, M.G.L. c. 231, § 59H.

The coalition of amici, led by the CMLP and represented by Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, argue in their brief that the defendant should be able to take advantage of the anti-SLAPP law even if he is deemed to be a member of the news media or if he receives compensation for his blog posts. Amici explain that a decision to deny the anti-SLAPP law's protections to members of the news media or bloggers would chill their efforts to inform citizens about issues before the government.

More information about the case and about the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute is available on the CMLP's website, http://www.citmedialaw.org.

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society:
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is proud to celebrate its tenth year as a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is now home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology and society. More information can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu.

About the Citizen Media Law Project:
The Citizen Media Law Project, which is jointly affiliated with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the Center for Citizen Media, has five primary objectives: legal education and training; collection and analysis of legal threats; litigation referral, consultation, and representation; community building; and advocacy on behalf of citizen media. It was the recipient of a 2007 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation News Challenge grant. For more information, visit http://www.citmedialaw.org.


Contact: Chris Bavitz

Friday, August 22, 2008

RESEARCH ASSISTANT to BENKLER & "The Cooperation Research Group"

Janet Moran sent this:
Hello all,

As we gear up for the fall semester, Research Assistant positions are starting to spring up! Many opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks, and we have an early announcement now: researching with Professor Yochai Benkler and his cooperation group.

Details about the position are below, and an information session about the cooperation group will be held in the Berkman Center's conference room on September 4th at 6:00 p.m. (The Berkman Center is located at 23 Everett Street, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA). Snacks will be provided.

Keep an eye on our Internship page for listings as they arise:
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/getinvolved/internships. You can apply to the positions as they are posted, and we will hold our Fall Open House on the evening of September 24th, location TBD, where you can learn about the research and meet members of the Berkman community.

As always, please feel free to send this announcement to your friends and colleagues who may have interest in the exciting opportunity with Professor Benkler.

All best,


Please submit all required materials to Janet Moran at jmoran@law.harvard.edu no later than August 28, 2008 at 5pm.

Project Description:

What makes Wikipedia or digg succeed? What makes other collaborative efforts fail? Peer production?large scale cooperation among human participants?has become an increasingly important mechanism for the creation of information, knowledge, and culture. Civil society organizations like the Sunlight Foundation are building collaborative platforms to expose government abuses. Businesses like Threadless T- Shirts and Amazon Mechanical Turk are using it to harness distributed intelligence and work capabilities. The intelligence community has set up an internal Intellipedia, and the Army, Company Commander. Some diffuse social networks like CouchSurfing or BookCrossing are using it to
share sleeping accommodations or books, while others, like DailyKos, harness political mobilization.

The Cooperation Research Group, led by Professor Yochai Benkler, analyzes the design of cooperative human systems through a combination of interdisciplinary observational, experimental, and theoretical studies. As part of this project, the group is embarking on a new effort to provide a map of commons-based and cooperative peer production today. The purpose of the study is to offer a systematic analysis of a wide range of information and knowledge production sectors, to identify practices, list them, describe them, and categorize them.

To learn more, watch Prof. Benkler's TED talk on collaboration here:

Job Task/Responsibilities:

Research Assistants will have the opportunity to contribute substantively to this project, conducting and writing case studies as well as providing input on overall research design and execution.

As part of this position, you will need to:

* Conduct in-depth research on commons-based peer-production using
online resources, library databases and secondary sources,
ethnographic participant observation of online communities, as
well as statistical and/or computational data collection.

* Write-up findings on a regular, iterative basis, conforming to
research protocols and deadlines laid out by Professor Benkler and
project leaders.

* Submit written results to online repositories in a timely and
organized fashion.

* Present results to the rest of the research group on a bi-weekly

* Critically and constructively engage with group members' research;
collaborate openly on all projects; integrate feedback & criticism
of your own work.

The position will begin in mid-September. The required commitment is approximately 15 hours per week (including weekly case study research group meetings) through December 15.

Monday, February 18, 2008


"Turkey at the edge"

The "Palfrey" reflections in Turkish press:
Sabah Daily, Milliyet Daily, Zaman Daily, Hurriyet Daily,
A video news-clip in CNN-Turk
and all of them!
-I wish I were here when he came. I was abroad...-

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Ethics of Social Networking

The Center for Internet and Society andThe Stanford Center for Ethics
present Thursday, Feb. 14, 200812:00-2:00pm
Stanford University Tressider Union, Cypress Room N-S

Has "online privacy?" become an oxymoron, or are we bound to develop a "new privacy" concept that prioritizes nuanced control of personal information? Is this new concept tenable?

What are the benefits and risks of the standardization of social networking? What impact does social networking technology have on interpersonal virtues? Are we witnessing the flattening of
social landscape by online networks? And can one be a college student without Facebook?

The Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society invite you to a discussion of a host of ethical and social concerns generated by the evolving culture of social networking, particularly by Internet users' habits and Web 2.0 sites' practices and strategies ­just in time for Valentine?s Day.

Moderated by Dean Eckles, a research scientist and designer at Nokia Research Center. Panelists include Dr. BJ Fogg, Director of Research and Design at Stanford's Persuasive Technology Lab, and lecturer at the Computer Science Dept; Jia Shen, Co-Founder and CTO of RockYou; and Shannon Vallor, Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University.
Come and add your voice to the discussion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

EU data regulator says Internet addresses are personal information

BRUSSELS, Belgium - IP addresses, string of numbers that identify computers on the Internet, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday.

Germany's data protection commissioner, Peter Scharr, leads the EU group preparing a report on how well the privacy policies of Internet search engines operated by Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others comply with EU privacy law.
He told a European Parliament hearing on online data protection that when someone is identified by an IP, or Internet protocol, address "then it has to be regarded as personal data."
His view differs from that of Google, which insists an IP address merely identifies the location of a computer, not who the individual user is - something strictly true but which does not recognize that many people regularly use the same computer terminal and IP address.
Scharr acknowledged that IP addresses for a computer may not always be personal or linked to an individual. For example, some computers in Internet cafes or offices are used by several people.
But these exceptions have not stopped the emergence of a host of "whois" Internet sites that apply the general rule that typing in an IP address will generate a name for the person or company linked to it.
Treating IP addresses as personal information would have implications for how search engines record data.
(Source: Silicon Valley)

Friday, January 04, 2008


"Freedom to Content" - March 31- April 1, 2008
For the details click here!