Bye-Bye Internet Freedom

Two characters, looking as unenlightened as they are well armed, have appeared on the walls and advertising hoardings of central Istanbul. They are TİB and MİT, the two tough guys of Internet censorship and surveillance in Turkey.flyerIstanbulFinal

Without seeking a court’s permission, the High Council for Telecommunications (TİB) issues “preventive” website blocking orders that Internet Service Providers are required to implement within four hours. Endowed with complete impunity, the MİT intelligence agency orchestrates an extensive system of surveillance of Turkish Internet users. Journalists who show too much interest face up to nine years in prison.

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We posted this cartoon throughout the centre of Istanbul in order to urge the Internet Governance Forum being held there not overlook the host country’s online censorship. We also distributed it to IGF participants until we were politely told that this was “not permitted.” Oh, right, the event’s guidelines do not allow “singling out individual persons, companies, countries or entities”.