Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Censorship threat to Israeli web

The ultra-religious party Shas is currently trying to pass a new law, aimed to censor sites containing "harmful content" to only consenting adults will be able to view them.

How? By forcing ISPs to block those sites, unless the surfer is identified by biometric means.
Who will decide what is considered "harmful" and who will own the huge database of resulting biometric personal data? Good question.

And the most frightening thing is the fact most of the public is completely complacent to this danger. I have had the chance of to see comments like "no way they are going to pass that, nothing to worry about" in political forums, and it's alarming.
Edmund Burke said: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". This is very true in the fractured Israeli political system.

Fortunately, some bloggers are aware to the danger, leading to posts from Ayelet Noff (Blonde 2.0) and Jeff Pulver, as well as an excellent site from Hanad Cohen.


Blonde 2.0 said...

Hi Adi:
I completely agree with you that it's very alarming how people seem to be so sure that it won't pass. They may get too sure, and then it will pass in the end.

Jeremie Berrebi said...

What would be so bad about a country that doesn't allow pornography via the internet?

About the biometric thing... You already know that in Israel, your teudate zeut number is already use to track all your life.. It is more shocking that a system who prevent children to be connected to that kind of "websites"

Adi said...

I had the dis-pleasure of watching a TV show on the first channel last night in which the issue was displayed in such a way viewers might have thought this law is a good thing, and the frightening thing was there were people opposing the law - they just made a lousy job.
It doesn't look good at this point.

Adi said...


How do you define pornography?
The people promoting the law thing a bare shoulder is pornography. They thing homosexualism is an abomination and that free speech is wrong.
Do you really think their definition will be the same as yours?

Regarding the ID thing, it's a common fact and nothing can be done at this point against it (I assume US social ID is similar) - but why create another, more personal identification which will be controlled either by the government or by commercial organizations?

BTW, I have nothing against a software/service blocking some sites, and all ISPs is Israeli offer those. I'm oppose the "opt-out" way suggested in the new law.