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Internet Censorship in Israel

Legislation proposed to let police block websites


Following UK's lead...

Irish MP set to introduce bill to require ISPs to impose default internet censorship of phones until the user gets age verified

Link Here 25th November 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites

A Galway MP to bring forward a bill in the Irish Parliament to prevent children accessing pornography on phones.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte, is hoping to bring a bill before the Dáil in January.

The proposed legislation would mean under 18s using pre-pay mobile phones would have to prove their age when accessing certain content.  She says the bill means companies would have an automatic adult filter that will need age verification before being removed.



Unlike Britain, Israel seeks to protect the privacy of porn viwers...

Israel passes laws implementing selectable options for ISPs to block adults sites

Link Here8th December 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites
A bill that would force ISPs in Israel to censor pornographic sites by default has been amended after heavy criticism from lawmakers over privacy concerns.

AN earlier version of the bill that was unanimously approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in late Octoberr but now a new version of the legislation has been passed which was sponsored by Likud MK Miki Zohar and Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli. The differences seem subtle and are whether customers opt in or opt out of network level website blocking.

Customers will have to confirm their preferences for website blocking  every 3 months but may change their settings at  any time.

The bill will incentivize internet companies to actively market existing website blocking software to families. ISPs will receive NIS 0.50 ($0.13 cents) for every subscriber who opts to block adult sites.

In a refreshing divergence from UK internet censorship, ISPs will be legally required to delete all data related to their users' surfing habits, to prevent creating de facto -- and easily leaked -- black lists of pornography consumers.

In comparison, internet companies are allowed to use or sell UK customer data for any purpose they so desire as long as customers tick a consent box with some woolly text about improving the customer's experience.

Update: Netanyahu voices privacy concerns

10th December 2018. See  article from
See also  Netanyahu against anti-porn bill, rejects online regulation from

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved to halt the adoption of a new law aimed at curbing pornographic content on the Internet and possibly keeping tabs on people who watch porn. Netanyahu inquired:

We don't want our children to be exposed to harmful content, but my concern is about inserting regulation into a space in which there is no government regulation. Who will decide which content is permitted and which is forbidden? Who will decide the interpretations?



Facebook Law...

Israel set to adopt a new internet censorship law

Link Here18th July 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites
The Israeli government would have far-reaching power to remove or block content from social media sites under legislation coming up for a vote in the Knesset.

The so-called Facebook Law could delete the content for reasons that include incitement to terrorism without criminal proceeding and without any admissible evidence.

The legislation, which was approved Sunday by the Law, Constitution and Justice Committee, is expected to be voted on before the Knesset ends its summer session on July 22.

Along with Facebook, among the social media outlets that would be covered by the legislation are Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube and reddit.



Update: State censors claim more ground...

Israel's parliament passes first reading for a bill to censor Facebook and social media

Link Here 4th January 2017
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites
A bill allowing Israeli courts to force social media companies to remove content defined as incitement has passed its first reading in parliament.

The Facebook bill sponsored by ministers Gilad Erdan and Ayelet Shaked would allow Israeli courts to immediately order content taken down if it is deemed to pose a public, personal or state security risk and constitutes a criminal offense.

Facebook adheres to its own removal policy when it comes to online content and freedom of speech issues and has generally not removed as much as state censors would like.

Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler of the Israel Democracy Institute has criticized the Facebook bill as too broad. She commented that the bill will not solve the problem and will hurt freedom of expression for all.



Update: Following Britain's lead...

Israel's government initiates law to block adult content on the internet unless subscribers opt in

Link Here 31st October 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites
Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legislation has unanimously approved a bill forcing Israeli ISPs to censor pornography by default.

Under the terms of the bill, users who want to opt in for adult content would be required to notify their service providers either in writing, by phone, or via the ISP's website.

The bill will now head to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, to start the process of legislative approval.

Critics say that aside from limiting freedom of information, the attempt to censor inappropriate content would likely lasso similar but unrelated content such information on breast cancer and other educational material. In addition, critics said, the need for users to notify providers in order to gain access to pornography is arguably a violation of privacy.

The bill was sponsored by Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who noted that similar default blocking of adult content has been introduced in other Western countries, notably Britain.

Moalem said that ensuring non-pornographic states are not filtered by accident would be a challenge to overcome as the bill is fine-tuned before approval by the Knesset. She noted that sites which contain both adult-oriented and family-suitable material also present difficulties to censoring systems.



Gambling on Censorship...

Israel drafts law to allow police to block websites without a court order

Link Here 19th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites

Israel's Justice Ministry is drafting legislation that would allow the police to block access to child pornography and gambling websites without a court order.

The state is currently awaiting a related Supreme Court ruling on the same issue. The government is appealing a district court ruling concluding that a police power to bar access to physical locations without a court order can be extended to internet websites.

The ministry's bill would allow an authorized police officer to order an ISP to block access to any gambling or pedophilia site. A website could be blocked even if it also conducts legal activity, as long as the illegal activity constitutes more than a marginal portion of its total activity. The police order would be in effect only for a limited time period.

Attorney Jonathan Klinger, an expert in the intersection of law and technology, said that, as written, he didn't think the law could survive a court challenge:

But above all, this is a bill that seeks to bring us down to the level of countries like Qatar, Pakistan, Iran, China and others. We have yet to see any country in the world that has censorship but doesn't use it for political purposes.

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