The Turkish Telecommunications Authority (BTK) has completely block access to virtual private networks, or VPNs, by March 16, 2018, the Diken news portal reported.

Among the prohibited networds are Tor Project, VPN Master, Hotspot Shield VPN, Psiphon, Zenmate VPN, TunnelBear, Zero VPN, VyprVPN, Private Internet Access VPN, Espress VPN, IPVanish VPN.

In a related development, Turkey’s Parliament on March 21 adopted a provision that further expands the already far-reaching powers of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) in allocating licenses for online broadcasting.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir on Thursday expressed concern about the new provision, saying that further restricting access to the Internet would critically weaken access to information and online expression.

With the new regulation, which was introduced by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, RTÜK will be able to impose a broadcasting ban on Internet TV channels that do not have broadcasting licenses, whose licenses have been revoked or whose broadcasts are deemed to have inappropriate content.

Upon a request from RTÜK, penal courts of peace will make a ruling within 24 hours without a hearing.

The Turkish government has already banned thousands of websites including critical news outlets and social media accounts.

 

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