Law No. 7252 on the Establishment of Digital Platforms Commission and Amendment of Certain Laws was published in the Official Gazette No. 31199 on 28 July 2020 (“Law”). The Law regulates the establishment of a Digital Platforms Commission within the parliament, which will have certain powers and duties concerning content and hosting providers, access providers and Turkish or foreign real or legal persons. The Law is available online here (in Turkish).
According to the Law, the Digital Platforms Commission has been established to carry out certain inspection, reporting and advisory duties regarding the measures and actions taken for the prevention of the use of the internet in violation of laws, personal rights, fundamental rights and freedoms and privacy of the individuals, or in a manner that damages the physical and physiological development of children.
The duties of the Digital Platforms Commission are determined as follows:
- Discuss and review the works/tasks assigned to it; review the draft laws proposed to the parliament, presidential decrees issued during the state of emergency if requested by the presidency (of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority), and present opinions to expert commissions.
- Present opinions and proposals on the prevention of the use of the internet in violation of the laws, personal rights, fundamental rights and freedoms and privacy of the individuals, or in a manner that damages the physical and physiological development of children.
- Present opinions and proposals on combatting crimes committed through the internet.
- Follow international developments regarding the foregoing subjects, carry out inspections abroad on these subjects if necessary, and present opinions and proposals on these developments.
- Organize events and projects regarding the lawful use of the internet for the purpose of informing the public.
The powers of the Digital Platforms Commission are determined as follows:
- Request information and documentation from public institutions, content providers, access providers, hosting providers and natural persons and legal entities within and outside the country that operate under the Internet Law, in connection with their duties and responsibilities.
- Benefit from the works of public institutions and organizations, universities, non-governmental organizations and public professional organizations in connection with their duties.
- Summon experts to obtain their opinions if deemed necessary.
According to the rationale of the Law, the purpose of the new commission is to allow legislative bodies to contribute to the activities and works aimed at ensuring the lawful use of the internet.
In line with the increasing focus on digital platforms in the global scene, it appears that these platforms and the Turkish citizens’ use of such platforms will also be the subject of attention from the Turkish legislative body through the new Digital Platforms Commission. The effects of the new commission on legislative efforts and regulations of digital platforms will be clearer once the commission is up and running.
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