Facebook Denies Leaking User Data to Turkish Government

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Facebook has not handed over user data to Turkish authorities during the country's ongoing anti-government protests, the company said in a Wednesday statement

Facebook's comments follow a Turkish government minister's claim that Facebook was "in cooperation with the state" while Twitter was refusing to supply user data, per NPR.

Read Facebook's full statement below:

Facebook has not provided user data to Turkish authorities in response to government requests relating to the protests. More generally, we reject all government data requests from Turkish authorities and push them to formal legal channels unless it appears that there is an immediate threat to life or a child, which has been the case in only a small fraction of the requests we have received

We are concerned about legislative proposals that might purport to require Internet companies to provide user information to Turkish law enforcement authorities more frequently. We will be meeting with representatives of the Turkish government when they visit Silicon Valley this week, and we intend to communicate our strong concerns about these proposals directly at that time. Read more...

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Turkey Protests New Internet Filters

Disgruntled Turkish Internet users marched through the streets in more than 30 cities on Sunday to protest a new Internet filter system that they consider censorship.

The system will ask all users to choose from a selection of filters, including “family,” “children” and “domestic,” before browsing the Internet in Turkey. It is planned to take effect in August.

Earlier this month, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) President Tayfun Acarer told reporters that the organization had introduced the filters in response to requests for better Internet safety. Currently available filters for families and children don’t work that well, he said, and the new system includes a “standard” filter option for those who don’t want their Internet browsing experience to change.

Thousands of Turks who used Facebook to organize and attend marches on Sunday see the measure differently.

“You’d enter a channel leading you to the server of the state, which distributes the Internet to millions of users. The system enables the control of citizens…like telephone tapping,” one of the protestors, Serkan Dogan, told The Wall Street Journal.

It’s not surprising that many Turks are distrustful of the BTK’s new measures. The country has a history of Internet censorship, famously blocking YouTube in 2007 due to a video that was deemed insulting to the founder of modern Turkey. That ban has been lifted, but thousands of other sites remain blocked.

More About: censorship, facebook, filters, Internet freedom, protest, turkey

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