Target: Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu
Goal: Don’t restrict website access and surveil internet users
The internet has brought in a new age of communication, where users can access information regarding various subjects. However, oppressive countries such as Turkey seek to take away these rights from citizens. The country that recently hosted a forum on internet governance will be embracing new laws that restrict internet users by blocking access to websites and allow surveillance of their activity. This is in direct violation of human rights and must be stopped. Demand the Prime Minister of Turkey abolish these laws immediately.
The provisions of the new law gives more power to the Telecom Directorate (TIB). The first provision allows TIB to close a website within four hours if the organization feels that the website poses a threat to national security, or if a crime is about to be committed. An order must be issued 24 hours ahead of the closure, but TIB has been known to overstep this procedure. Prime Minister Davutoglu himself has supported the closure of Twitter, an extremely popular tool used for communication.
The second measure allows TIB to store metadata regarding what sites users peruse, their online browsing history, and email addresses. In the hands of corrupt officials, it allows them to build profiles of political or troublesome figures. It is an invasion of privacy and places more power upon the government.
The United States and the United Kingdom have both experienced what it is like having the government spy on its citizens. Many do not find the practice ethical and want the metadata released to the public or erased. Turkey should not condone this law and Prime Minister Davutoglu should immediately abolish it.
Dear Prime Minister Ahmey Davutoglu,
Your government is about to adopt provisions that will restrict internet users by blocking what websites they can access, and collecting data that violates their rights to privacy. It is not right of the government to collect such data, especially from innocent civilians who have not shown suspicious activity. It is also not right of the government to block websites because this power can be easily abused. I also find it concerning that as Prime Minister you wish to block Twitter. Social media and other communication tools should not be restricted.
I urge you to abolish this law immediately. The citizens have a right to privacy, which means that the government has no right to rifle through their browsing history or their email addresses. The power to block websites can be easily abused and I urge you to find another way to protect the people and the nation. The people should be allowed to exercise free speech and browse the web without the fear of being monitored.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mike Licht via Flickr