Monday, January 9, 2012

Ministry of Justice's controversial press reform

Yesterday Milliyet announced a new "press reform" is on its way. Accordingly, leaking personal information to the media and violating privacy of citizens of Turkey will only be considered illegal if the private information is gathered illegally. In other words, if it is a member of the law enforcement or intelligence agency that leaks private information to the media (i.e., as part of an ongoing investigation wired conversation transcripts of people about whom there is no evidence of crime, for instance), this will not be considered as a violation of privacy.

Considering how in many high profile cases there were leaks of personal information (e.g., national identification numbers, passport copies, genealogy, private conversations which have nothing to do with the case but which serve the purpose of defamation, and so on) to the media in the past, this current "reform" plans by the Ministry of Justice to "improve" freedom of expression are likely to secure the state's freedom to violate its citizens' privacy only.