Surveillance in Turkey was one of the subjects raised by the NGOs participating in a news conference that Reporters Without Borders organized in Istanbul yesterday, the penultimate day of the Internet Governance Forum.
Ilden Dirini of the Alternative Informatics Association talked about the negotiations currently under way between the Turkish authorities and international companies that export surveillance technology.
Turkish Telecom, for example, has begun negotiations with the US company Procera Networks for the acquisition of software that will allow it to monitor visited web pages, HTTPS traffic, and exchanges on Whatsapp and Skype.
The Turkish authorities are also considering the possibility of investing the hefty sum of 40 million euros in a surveillance system based on Deep Packet Inspection technology that has been developed by the Swedish company Net Clean.
They say they need it to combat online paedophilia, but Dirini says it is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. DPI is extremely intrusive and, although it can be used to block certain kinds of content, it would also allow to the authorities to access the content of emails and other confidential material.
Opposition parliamentarians have already raised these issues with the government twice in the past few months. The subject has not as yet been raised within the IGF’s hushed halls.