Regulations on Social Media and Internet Contents Through Law No. 7253
Important amendments are made regarding the Law on Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications No. 5651 (“Law No. 5651”) through the Law No. 7253 Amending the Law on Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications (“Law”), published in the Official Gazette dated 31 July 2020 and No. 31202.
The definitio n of social network provider is introduced with the Law and obligations of the social network providers that are accessed by more than one million users daily are regulated. The principal requirements are; (i) to determine at least one person as the representative in Turkey, (ii) to store the data in Turkey, those collected from users in Turkey and (iii) to provide a reply in 48 hours for the applications that were made pursuant to Articles 9 and 9/A of the Law No. 5651. These regulations shall enter into force on 1.10.2020.
The remedies for non-compliance with the requirement on having one representative in Turkey pursuant to Law No. 5651 are regulated as a set of sanctions starting from an administrative fine of TRY 10,000,000 and increasing up to restricting the band width of internet traffic by 90%.
As a new remedy, removing the content is introduced aside from blocking the access to the content, to be applied in case of reasonable doubt on the crimes listed under Law No. 5651 and committed via the internet.
Also, the way to serve the administrative fines that are issued pursuant to the Law No. 5651 is eased. In this regard, when the payer of the relevant fine resides in abroad, the notification regarding the fine may be served via e-mail or other communication channels, and it shall be deemed as valid under the Notification Law numbered 7201.
Lastly, the minimum and maximum amounts for the administrative fines to be applicable to hosting service providers were re-regulated and the new range is between TRY 100,000 and TRY 1,000,000.
It is further evaluated that the requirement to have a representative in Turkey would have important outcomes in both domestic and international tax law.
You may access the full text of the relevant Law from here.
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