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Turkish protesters denounce Internet restrictions

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February 22, 2014 01:37 PM EST | AP


ISTANBUL (AP) — Police in Istanbul have clashed with hundreds of protesters denouncing a new law that increases government controls over the Internet.

Riot police used tear gas, water cannons and rubber pellets to push back crowds trying to reach Taksim Square on Saturday. Some protesters hurled fireworks at police. At least five people were detained.

This week, President Abdullah Gul ignored calls for a veto and signed the Internet bill into law, saying he had received government assurances that two disputed articles of the legislation would be amended.

The legislation allows Turkish authorities to block web pages for privacy violations without a prior court decision. It also forces Internet providers to keep records of users' activity for two years and make them available to authorities.

The European Union has criticized the legislation.