European Court of Human Rights: Blocking Google Sites In Turkey Breaches Human Rights

google writes that The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided on 18 December 2012 that the Turkish Court decision to block the entire Google Sites breached the Freedom of Expression as foreseen in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

Turkey has a long history of censorship policy regarding Internet content and blocking of websites. A survey commissioned by OSCE in 2012 has actually shown that the Turkish authorities were able to block the access to Internet of about 3700 websites, including foreign websites such as YouTube, Geocities, DailyMotion and Google.

In this case brought to the ECtHR, the applicant had a website hosted by the Google Sites service, on which he published his academic work and his opinions on various matters. But Google Sites was blocked entirely after 23 June 2009 when the Denizli Criminal Court of First Instance ordered the blocking of an Internet site the owner of which had been accused of insulting the memory of Atatürk. The order was issued as a preventive measure in the context of criminal proceedings against the site’s owner.

The blocking order was submitted for execution to the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB). Shortly afterwards, the TİB asked the court to extend the scope of the order by blocking access to Google Sites, which hosted not only the site in question but also the applicant’s site. The TİB stated that this was the only technical means of blocking the offending site, as its owner lived abroad.

In the Chamber judgement of this case (application no. 3111/10), the Court held that a violation of Article 10 on Freedom of Expression has occurred by blocking access to Google Sites which hosted many sites by its service.

Read the whole story HERE.

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