Turkey to enforce compulsory Internet filtering in August

This might be directly related to Cyprus but will affect people living in the occupied areas who are receiving their Internet connectivity through Turkey. On 22nd August in a move that many now call ‘The End of Internet’ Turkey will implement a country-wide Internet filter which will classify connections into 4 categories: child, family, domestic and standard. Users will be called to choose one of the four options but according to Internet advocates, even the least restricting option ‘Standard’ is still government mandated and government controlled.

Turkey already has a track record of banning access to websites; it is believed that at least 12,000 sites are not accessible from Turkey, the list at times including some high profile sites such as YouTube. The list of blocked sites is kept secret. Recently the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate has also banned 138 words from being part of Turkish domain names (this includes words such as  “gay,” “beat,” “escort,” “homemade,” “hot,” “nubile,” “free”, “teen” and the number 31 which apparently in Turkey is slang for male masturbation (for example ‘hotmail.com.tr’ is not be accessible since it contains the word ‘hot’. Currently many internet users browse the web through proxies abroad to gain access to these banned websites but this is only a temporary solution since under the new regulations, attempts to circumvent the filters will be considered a criminal act and face heavy fines.