Founder and Director: Dr. Yaman Akdeniz , LL.B, MA, Ph.D
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Internet: Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey
(Released on 25 November, 2008)

By Dr. Yaman Akdeniz & Dr. Kerem Altiparmak

Book cover

Extreme Pornography Offence includes disproportionate penalties (01.05.2008)
Extreme Porn Provisions: Unanswered Questions (01.05.2008)

New Blog at launched (01.05.2008)

Akdeniz, Y., Internet Child Pornography and the Law: National and International Responses,
Ashgate, published in June 2008 (ISBN-13 978-0-7546-2297-0).

Akdeniz, Y., “Governing Racist Content on the Internet: National and International Responses,”
(2007) University of New Brunswick Law Journal (Canada), Vol. 56, Spring, 103-161. An electronic copy of this article is available upon request.

Akdeniz, Y., “Possession and dispossession: A critical assessment of defences in possession of indecent photographs of children cases,”
[2007] Criminal Law Review, (April), 274-288. An electronic copy of this article is available upon request.

Home Office published the Consultation on the Possession of Extreme Pornographic Material
Summary of responses
and next steps on 30 August, 2006.
The paper contains a summary of the responses received and the proposed way forward.
In December 2005, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties released a response to the Home Office Consultation Paper
on the criminalisation of possession of extreme violent pornography.

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, Stocktaking on efforts to combat Racism on the Internet, background report for the High Level Seminar on Racism and the
Internet, Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, Fourth
session, Geneva, 16-27 January 2006, E/CN.4/2006/WG.21/BP.1, published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR)
Office: Geneva, January 2006, 45pp.

Executive Summary for the Stocktaking on efforts to combat racism on the Internet Background Report

Racism was a pressing social problem long before the emergence of the digital age. The advancement of communication technologies such as the Internet has, however, added a new dimension to the problem. The use of the Internet as an instrument for the widespread dissemination of racist content can be traced to the mid-1990s. A recent study estimated that there are more than 5,000 websites in a variety of languages which promote racial hatred and violence, anti-Semitism and xenophobia around the world. The growing problem of racist content on the Internet has prompted vigorous responses from a variety of agents, including Governments, supranational and international organisations as well as from the private sector. In line with Recommendation 22 of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG), this report assesses the possibilities of and challenges posed by the use of the Internet to propagate or to counter material of a racist nature. This report seeks to provide a timely critical overview of issues central to this debate, focusing on both legal and policy initiatives (self and co-regulatory) to combat racism on the Internet. Significant developments at State level as well as developments within international organisations will form part of this analysis.

As will be seen, a number of themes will surface from this analysis with the most prominent being the fact that States have yet to reach a political agreement on how to prevent the Internet being used for racist purposes and on how to promote its use to combat the scourge of racism. While some regard harmonised national legislation and international agreements as the way forward, others strenuously oppose this position, citing objections on grounds of freedom of expression. This lack of consensus threatens the implementation of legal sanctions in accordance with relevant international human rights legal instruments, in particular the International Convention on the Elimination Of All Forms Of Racial Discrimination ("ICERD") as recommended by paragraph 147 of the Durban Programme of Action. The report argues that the absence of a global consensus on the limits of freedom of expression may remain an obstacle to regulatory harmonisation through any future international agreement or convention, including through the Council of Europe's Additional Protocol concerning the Criminalisation of Acts of a Racist and Xenophobic Nature Committed through Computer Systems.

Another associated factor to emerge from the Stocktaking on efforts to combat racism on the Internet report is the extent of duplication of efforts at the supranational, and international levels of governance. This duplication has resulted in delays in finalising policies within relevant organisations, and in its subsequent implementation at the national level to address Internet related problems. Governments and international organisations are, however, reacting more positively against the dissemination of racist content through the Internet.The principal conclusion reached is that in the fight against racist Internet content no one approach promises to be entirely effective. The legal system is more adapted to deal with one-off traditional publications (such as newspapers and magazines) and has been extremely slow in dealing with web based Internet publications. Due to the global and decentralised nature of the Internet, government regulation and even prosecutions have limited effect and application especially if the racist content is transmitted from outside the jurisdiction in which it is considered illegal. Above all else, the various court cases examined in this report illustrate that the emergence of Internet governance entails a more diverse and fragmented regulatory network with no presumption that these are anchored primarily in the nation-states.Although legal regulation will doubtless form an important part of future efforts to tackle the problem of online racism it will only ever form part of the solution. Ultimately, it will prove necessary to rely on additional measures in the form of self and co-regulatory initiatives. The success of these measures will, in turn, depend upon substantial improvement of existing systems including the development of codes of conduct aimed at combating racist Internet content as recommended by the Durban Programme of Action (paragraph 144). If successful these measures would potentially be more flexible and more effective than prescriptive government legislation.

Consistent with recommendation 141 of the Durban Programme of Action, education about racist content on the Internet and how to foster tolerance, is arguably the single most effective way of combating racist content.Equally significant is the continued participation of all stakeholders, inter alia States, WSIS, international and regional organizations, NGOs, the private sector and the media, in ongoing discussions and the fostering of a wider public debate. In this regard the high level seminar on racism and the Internet to be held in Geneva on 16-17 January, 2006 offers important opportunities for the exchange of ideas and the formulation of effective future strategies.

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties released An Advocacy Handbook for the Non Governmental Organisations: The Council of Europe’s Cyber-Crime Convention 2001 and the additional protocol on the criminalisation of acts of a racist or xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, 01 December 2003. This report has been revised and updated in October 2005.

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz's presentation for the UNESCO Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace Conference, 04 February, 2005, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris France.

Art 29 Working Party Opinion on data retention (9/2004) on a draft Framework Decision on the storage of data processed and retained for the purpose of providing electronic public communications services or data available in public communications networks with a view to the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal acts, including terrorism adopted on 9th November 2004. [Proposal presented by France, Ireland, Sweden and Great Britain (Document of the Council 8958/04 of 28 April 2004)]

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties statement in relation to hate speech and xenophobia on the Internet: Statement for the Organisation for Security and Co-Ordination in Europe ("OSCE") Guaranteeing Media Freedom on the Internet Seminar, Vienna, 30 June, 2004.


Internet Governance: Towards the modernization of policy making process in Turkey, Turkish Informatics Society, Istanbul: Papatya Yayincilik, September 2003, ISBN 975-6797-44-4 (A separate version in Turkish is also available, please contact).

Internet Governance, and Freedom in Turkey, in Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (“OSCE”) Representative on Freedom of the Media eds, Spreading the Word on the Internet: 16 answers to 4 questions, Reflections on Freedom of the Media and the Internet, pp 29-43, Vienna, 2003.

Walker, C., & Akdeniz, Y., "Anti-Terrorism laws and data retention: war is over?" (2003) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 54(2), Summer, 159-182. Abstract: The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 signals a determined response to the attacks of September 11th. One aspect involves the facilitation of the use of electronic surveillance in order to prevent, detect or prosecute the perpetrators of terrorism. The role of Part XI of the 2001 Act is to augment existing surveillance powers in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. This papers plots the relationships between those two statutes and also their relationship to data protection laws. Delays and difficulties in enforcement are noted and are related to a process of return to greater normality after an initial period of panic.

UK Parliament Mail - The Ministry Of Silly Messages - 06 February, 2003.
An anticensorware investigation by Seth Finkelstein
Abstract: This report examines messages being rejected by a mail system in use by the UK parliament.
See also the NTK coverage

ISPA letter to the Home Office dated 27 September, 2002 in relation to the ATCS Act Code of Practice on data retention revised version: This letter has been obtained from the Home Office under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information by Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, Director of Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK).

Regulation of Child Pornography on the Internet: Cases and Materials, at
Last updated January 2003.

Case Report by Dr. Yaman Akdeniz: Court of Appeal Clarifies the Law on Downloading Child Pornography from the Web
published in the Computer Law & Security Report Vol. 18 no. 6 2002, pp 433-435.

Cyber-Rights.Net Re-launched - 29 November, 2002

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) Fifth Year Statement - 1997-2002

New Section: Internet related Policy Issues and developments following the Attacks on America on 11 Sept. 2001

Yaman Akdeniz, Case Analysis of (the Yahoo case) League Against Racism and Antisemitism (LICRA), French Union of Jewish Students, 
v Yahoo! Inc. (USA), Yahoo France
, Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (The County Court of Paris), Interim Court Order, 
20 November, 2000. Citation: [2001] Electronic Business Law Reports, 1(3) 110-120.

European Parliament resolution on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098(INI)) - September 2001
Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System, Report on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098 (INI)), Final, A5-0264/2001, 11 July, 2001.
See generally Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK), "Echelon Watch"

Akdeniz, Y.; Taylor, N.; Walker, C., Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (1): State surveillance in the age of information and rights, (2001) Criminal Law Review, (February), pp. 73-90 at 
(Published in this format with permission from Sweet & Maxwell, the publishers of the Criminal Law Review). 
For a complete list of Yaman Akdeniz's published work see 
For information about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 see

OUT NOW: Yaman Akdeniz, Clive Walker, and David Wall, The Internet, Law and Society, Longman.
Published in Dec.2000; Price £29 (approx); Pages 400 (approx), ISBN 1 582 35656 3 (Pbk). 
For the details of the book see 

Internet Detective: Censorship, National Security, and Freedom of Information - Added December 2000.
A case of censorship or protection of national security? Read the related documents and the Ombudsman's decision and judge yourself.

Check our bookstore for related books

Policy Issues and Special Sections

Crypto Policy and Privacy pages ¦ Regulation of Child Pornography on the Internet ¦ Interception of Communications ¦ Enfopol and Echelon ¦ Freedom of Information Files Section
European Union Watch ¦ Official Secrecy and Cyber-Censorship ¦ Reports and Publications ¦ Broxtowe Case, 'The JET Report' and related materials
UK Police Ban of Newsgroups  ¦ CR&CL(UK) CensorWare pages ¦  Documents, Case Reports and other publications of Interest
ISPs and Privacy Concerns ¦ Freedom of Expression and Cyber-Censorship Issues

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Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) has been accessed over 2000 times in November 1996 following its recognition as one of the 'Ten Top Cyber Rights Resources' by the Wired magazine's November 1996 issue. The web site has been accessed more than 4000 times in March 1997. During 2000, an average of 33,000 users accessed the website every month and the Guardian recently (November 2000) listed as one of the best six human rights websites. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties  is a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign since April 1997. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties is grateful to SoftCom Technologies, Canada for providing the web hosting of these pages.