The Internet Governance Forum (IGF2014) a yearly global meeting to discuss the social and political aspects of the Internet will be held in Istanbul Turkey in September of 2014. Like the previous years’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia and in Baku, Azerbaijan, this year’s meeting is being held in a country without the individual liberties many have grown to expect. Once again we are bringing the global premiere Internet governance meeting to a country that governs the Internet locally in such a way as to restrict its use.
Yesterday President Gul of Turkey signed an Internet censorship law, which will let the authorities block web pages within hours and collect data such as users’ browsing histories.
The gay community should not be surprised as Turkey was reported to be blocking gay web sites in 2013. In fact as early as 2009 the Index on Censorship was reporting that gay community web sites were being blocked in Turkey. In a world where Uganda can make laws that imprison people for being gay, we cannot just quietly accept part of our community being silenced. Internet censorship is bad for everyone, it is especially bad for endangered communities.
Lets hope that IGF2014 takes a strong position on the local Internet environment and doesn’t slink in and out of the country without making a strong statement on Internet censorship.