As the dust has not yet settled from the attempt to include a surveillance and censorship regulation into Covid-19 relief package in previous weeks, government ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) filed a draft bill to enforce use of personal ID numbers issued by the state to be basis of social media accounts when accessing internet from Turkey.
Government ally MHP wants a bypass to expand the scope of Law numbered 5651 Regulation on Publications on the Internet. The reasoning proposed behind this update is stated is to “fight against crimes committed online”. The draft bill has been submitted to Parliamentary Speaker’s Office.
FAKE PROFILES CAUSE VICTIMHOOD
MHP Kırıkkale deputy Halil Öztürk submitted a draft bill to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office to expand the scope of social media surveillance and monitoring of users online suggesting that many people become victims of actions conducted by fake profiles.
MHP deputy Öztürk stated, “in the days we are fighting against the deadly coronavirus, the situation has not changed and there are manipulative news pieces being shared by fake profiles online to create fear and concern in society, to create a certain perception in the country, which cause increase of worry levels. Within this context, Turkey has topped the list of countries where people get subjected to fake news the most with 49% according to a study conducted in 2018 focusing on social media platforms. Facebook announced that in the first quarter of 2019 there were suspended 1.2 billion fake profiles while this number grew to 2.2 billion in 2019 in the same period.”
HEAVY FINE PROPOSALS
According to a news article published on pro-AKP Sabah Daily, Öztürk made a statement clarifying the specifics of the draft bill, “social network providers that receive more than 500.000 access rate on a daily basis from Turkey -be it nationally located or a foreign provider- they must open a representation office in Turkey and those who wish to benefit from the services given on these social platforms have to create profiles using their Turkish Citizenship Identity Number, thus preventing creation of fake profiles in Turkey. On the other hand, ID Numbers should be under protection of GDPR, and heavy fine penalties should be given to companies that do not comply with the new regulations.”
GRAND CENSORSHIP ATTEMPT: RELOADED
Only three weeks ago another proposal had been submitted to expand the scope of Law Numbered 5651, bringing expansive application for the state against internet users and social media platforms. Government alliance deputies had refuted claims that this bill would be used for surveillance of the society, while in the last minute it was taken out of the Covid-19 Relief Package Bill.