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Turkish efforts to tighten Internet controls raise ire

ANKARA, Turkey--A top European official has voiced concern over new Turkish legislation that would tighten government controls over the Internet.

Turkey's Parliament on Wednesday approved measures which would allow the telecommunications authority to block websites for a privacy violation without seeking permission from a court. They would also force Internet providers to keep records on Web users' activities for two years and make them available to authorities on request.

The legislation was passed as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is fighting a corruption scandal that has ensnared four former Cabinet ministers.

Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said on Twitter Thursday that the legislation is a step back in an “already suffocating environment for media freedom.”

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