Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım claimed the United States has access to all information flowing from Turkish citizens through the internet due to the use of search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Among the government's plans for 2023, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic, is also the establishment of a national search engine called "e-Çelebi," he said.
A search engine or a filtering system under the control of a state is not necessarily more secure than systems or services developed by private firms, however, Prof. Yaman Akdeniz from Bilgi University's Department of Law told bianet.
Systems under state control arouse suspicion in every part of the world, and such skepticism will also be valid for Turkey as well, he added.
"If the security of search engines is in doubt, then the same criticism will also be valid for a prospective national engine, too. [Such] information will either lie in the hands of private firms as Google and Yandex or in the hands of the state. Which one do you think is more dangerous?" Prof. Akdeniz said.
The clarification of legal standards, methods of information storage and particularly issues of privacy and the confidentiality of information in the international arena constitute the real points of concern in terms of the security of information, according to Prof. Akdeniz.
"The Council of Europe issued a Recommendation to identify the standards regarding search engines, social media service providers and human rights on April 2012," he added.
"Any information you share ceases to be yours"
Cybersecurity now constitutes the most glaring problem in the field of telecommunications, Minister Yıldırım said, adding that Turkey would establish its own search engine called "e-Çelebi."
"In fact, this is very important, I believe. I must also confess we have been a little late here. That the source of all the information lies in somebody else's [hands] is not sustainable. Now, all information you share ceases to be yours. The most important feature of this field is that all traces you leave behind the moment you touch the button cease to be yours," Minister Yıldırım said.
"To whom does it belong afterwards then? It goes unanimous, and when it does the adress goes to a certain country. The whole world is now disgruntled about this. The U.S. claims it owns the internet because it invented it, and a huge quarrel is underway," Minister Yıldırım said.
"The reason for this quarrel is that all our information flows through this country. How can we be certain that we will not run into [serious trouble] when we encounter a problem [in terms of the security of this information,]" he added.
"Many countries are now asking this question. Such organizations as the International Telecommunication Union and the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime are debating this matter, but no agreement has come about yet," said Minister Yıldırım. (EKN)