A law passed by Turkey’s parliament Wednesday gives the government extensive new controls over the Internet amid a growing corruption scandal, leading critics to cry foul over curtailed freedoms.
Under the law, which still awaits President Abdullah Gül's signature, the Turkish government would be empowered to block websites and wipe content without court approval if it is deemed to violate privacy, the Associated Press reports. The law would also require Internet providers to retain, and give law enforcement access to, records of users’ online activity.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the law.
Some see the new restrictions as an effort to tighten the government’s grip over the flow of information as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan works to contain a corruption scandal that has already brought down four government ministers. Hundreds of law enforcement officials have been replaced by Erdogan’s government, in what some see as an effort to squash any further investigation into official wrongdoing.