Turkish government reinforced their ban of YouTube [corporate website] on Thursday, despite a Constitutional Court [official website, in Turkish] ruling [JURIST report] last week that the ban was unlawful. The Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) [official website] said [Reuters report] in a statement that the government measures blocking the website will remain in place. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile] imposed the ban on YouTube and Twitter [JURIST report] after illicit recordings of top security talks were posted on YouTube and distributed through Twitter. Erdogan denies corruption and has claimed the audio recordings [recordings, in Turkish] were fabricated to discredit him in the upcoming election. Erdogan has stated that he disagrees with the decision from the Constitutional Court and believes that it should be overturned.
Internet freedom remains a controversial issue around the world, garnering significant 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 July 2012 the UN Human Rights Council passed [JURIST report] its first resolution to protect the free speech of individuals online.