4 million Turkish Internet users had started to use the new Internet filtering system, which started operating on Nov. 22, 2011.
World Bulletin/News Desk
Four million Internet users have started to use an optional Internet safety scheme adopted by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) to protect children and young people from harmful content on the Internet since it became available in November 2011.
Speaking at a meeting held by the Turkish Informatics Industry Association (TÜBİSAD) on Thursday, BTK Director Tayfun Acarer said that 4 million Turkish Internet users had started to use the new Internet filtering system, which started operating on Nov. 22, 2011. Recalling that the system was strongly criticized on the grounds that it would bring censorship to the Internet in Turkey, Acarer said: “When we first introduced the new Internet filtering system, which provides ‘safe Internet' for families, we faced harsh criticism and opposition, but we have made great efforts to inform people that it is not a censorship system. In the last six months, the number of Internet users who have started using the new system is about 4 million, and this number is increasing by the day. Families say they are pleased with the system. I wonder what those people who criticized the scheme when it was introduced are saying now.”
The Internet filtering system came under fire when it was first unveiled to the public on Feb. 22, 2011 with some fearing that it would bring censorship to the Internet. BTK head Acarer, however, responded to these claims at a press conference on May 5 of last year, saying that Internet users in Turkey would not be obliged to choose from one of the filtering options proposed in the new system and that those who did not apply for the new system could go on as usual with their current Internet usage. He added that the filtering system had been created as a result of demands from many users and that the BTK had drafted a plan for the system after negotiating with numerous Internet service providers.