An Istanbul court on Friday ruled against Turkey's ban on Twitter [corporate website], overturning an order that the social media website shut down an account accusing the government of corruption. Access to Twitter was suspended in Turkey last week by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for the website's failure to remove allegations of government corruption. The specific account that was ordered to be removed accuses former Transport Minister Binali Yildirim of corruption. Twitter called the decision [AP report] a "win for freedom of expression." An Ankara court has already ordered [JURIST report] the government to drop the ban on Twitter entirely, but Turkish authorities have stated they have 30 days to comply with the order and plan to appeal.
Internet freedom remains a controversial issue around the world and has garnered attention over the past few years. Turkish President Abdullah Gul [BBC profile] approved legislation [JURIST report] in February tightening internet restrictions and allowing the government to block websites without court approval. In January 2013, a Canadian human rights group reported [JURIST report] that a number of nations are using American-made Internet surveillance technology to censor content and track citizens. China adopted new restrictions [JURIST report] on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in December 2012, requiring ISPs to monitor and report online content found to be illegal. In June 2012, the UN Human Rights Council passed [JURIST report] its first resolution to protect the free speech of individuals online.