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X faces bandwidth restrictions in Türkiye over law non-compliance

Türkiye’s national telecommunications regulatory and inspection authority, the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK), is preparing to implement bandwidth throttling on social media platform X, which has failed to fulfill any obligations determined within the framework of laws in the country, such as appointing a representative and administrative fines.

Since the bandwidth would be reduced by 90%, access to the relevant application will effectively become impossible. Accordingly, those accessing this network would not be able to obtain service.

While the legal obligations of social network providers in Türkiye are regulated by Internet Law No. 5651, obligations such as appointing and notifying representatives in Türkiye, reporting, combating illegal content and providing services specifically for children were imposed on social network providers.

The social network provider X, formerly known as Twitter has not fulfilled its legal obligations since these regulations came into effect.

Due to its failure to fulfill its legal obligations, X was initially fined TL 10 million ($307,350), and then TL 30 million in administrative fines, which it also did not pay.

Within this scope, as X did not fulfill its obligation to appoint and notify a representative, it was previously prohibited for individuals or legal entities resident in Türkiye to advertise on X, yet despite all these sanctions, X continued to neglect its obligations within the legislation.

Furthermore, X has taken the matter to such an extent that it has been reluctant to comply with the decisions made by the courts.

Especially, it has been observed that X did not show the same diligence and speed in determining official communication points in Türkiye as it did in the process of compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA) dated 2022, which regulates the obligations of digital services providers in European Union.

This situation has also raised questions about X’s commitments to fundamental rights and freedoms of Turkish users, such as data security and freedom of expression.

According to the information obtained, while BTK is taking steps for X to address the inconsistencies in its compliance efforts and immediately comply with Law No. 5651, the next stage of sanctions would be the throttling of the social network provider’s internet traffic bandwidth by up to 90%.

It was learned that, as with other social network providers, all necessary assistance and guidance will continue to be provided by the BTK for X to fully comply with its legal obligations, and it is important for X to take immediate action and make progress in this area to avoid legal sanctions.

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