The Turkish government has announced more plans to exert greater control over the Internet, with a Cabinet member confirming talks on a bill to give the government the power to block webpages without a court order if they threaten 'national security and public order', Hurriyet News reported on Saturday.
"According to this study, if a situation concerning public order is in question, on matters concerning public order and national security, upon a demand by the related minister or the prime miniser, TİB [Telecommunications Directorate] will be able to temporarily remove content or block access," Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lutfi Elvan told reporters.
"However, still, there is an obligation to file for a court within 24 hours and an obligation for the implementation of the court order," he added.
In September, as part of an omnibus bill, the government granted TİB extraordinary authority to monitor Internet users and block websites and their content without court permission.
The bill was, however, overturned by the Constitutional Court a month later.
Elvan also recalled that the draft legislation also outlines pecuniary penalties of up to 500,000 Turkish Liras for those who do not implement court rulings to block access to certain webpages or remove content from certain webpages.