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Censorship Government The Internet Your Rights Online

Israeli Bill Would Allow Secret Blacklists For Websites 132

Posted by timothy
from the blacklist-is-so-dark-you-can't-see-it dept.
jonklinger writes with the lead from his report on a move to hamper internet freedom in Israel: "Israel is to attempt, again, to pass a bill that authorizes police officers to issue warrants to Internet service providers to block or restrict access to specific websites involved either in gambling, child pornography or copyright infringement. The bill itself proposes that such administrative procedures shall be clandestine and that court decisions shall be made ex-parte, where some of the court's ruling will not be even dislosed to the owner of the website, and the court may hear and use inadmissible evidence."
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Israeli Bill Would Allow Secret Blacklists For Websites

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  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:21PM (#42370007) Journal

    Oooh secret courts! Censorship! Illegally-obtained evidence!

    So much for "never again". We have become our enemy.

    • by flayzernax (1060680) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:56PM (#42370287)

      I like how all of these current politicaly hip ideas " gambling, child pornography or copyright infringement" to regulate are all being lumped into the same bill.

      I hate to say this but they are all nothing alike, and the reasons for blocking each individualy differ quite a bit. To make it secret is even worse. Why don't you do the internet a service and educate people about these issues directly.

      Should some things be blocked, taken down, raided, removed from the group think, yep, definately child porn, but lets not erode everything else to do it. It can be done responsably.

      I suppose you will take down WALL STREET's webs since their all about gambling. Or the myriad content producers who violate their own rules. (disney recently in the news asking google to filter its own results out of the web)

      • I understand the desire to keep the list secret -- some people will use a published list as a catalog of sites to visit -- but, as usual, I strongly recommend against building tools of tyrrany. "We won't misuse it" is part of tyrrany's meme spread mechanism.

        • You don't think that a determined enough person can find these sites anyway? The lists should never be secret, the cases should always be open.

          The idea that even the site's owner won't be notified shows a "guilty with no chance to prove innocence" process. I hate to skirt a Godwin, but this kind of activity reeks of fascism.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        If you were to think of it from the other direction. Construct a list of (website) businesses not allowed to do business in israel, what would they be?

        Illegal gambling (that may be all gambling, that may be gambling not under a state monopoly, I'm not sure).

        Illegal weapons sales

        People smuggling

        Terrorism

        Hostile state propaganda (Iranian news).

        Child pornographers.

        Etc.

        They're aren't on the list because they're equivalent crimes, they're on the list because the government only has the authority to take the *on

      • " " gambling, child pornography or copyright infringement""

        as in trying to make taking away rights as attractive as possible, pushing people's emotional buttons
    • "Germany lost the war, fascism won it." -- George Carlin

      I guess it just takes an awful long time for the fallout of that to trickle through the generations.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Oooh secret courts! Censorship! Illegally-obtained evidence!

      So much for "never again". We have become our enemy.

      Obviously the RED Scare of the fifties with our lovable Senator Joe McCarthy is lost on the youts today.

    • you're right
      there are no MMO's worth playing atm
      i'm afraid you're mostly right about the other thing as well, it's not just israel though it's a generation thing it's not even geopolitical. Afraid to lose control
      (imo)
  • Each nation should be able to legislate and govern internet access in the way it sees fit; and best suite for its citizen's good. What's good for the US may not be good enough for Israel or even the UK, China or India. Just because the internet as it has eveolved so far is inter-operable across nations, does not mean it should be governed by a single set of rules, protocols and conventions.

    • by CosmicMuse (2751635) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:43PM (#42370185)

      While there's potentially merit in your argument, I think most people worldwide would agree that "government censorship through secret court proceedings using illegal evidence" is not a beneficial protocol for... well, any country. This proposal isn't a slippery slope, it's a canyon drop-off, and at the bottom is "government-approved communication" and "arrests without trial for dissenting speech".

    • by BSAtHome (455370)

      And let /. be the first on that secret list. There can not come any good from discussion, ever, how good or sad it is performed..

      • by jkrise (535370)

        And let /. be the first on that secret list.

        If democratically elected officials are following due process, and coming to arbitrary conclusions, their people deserve it, and need to elect someone else. That is a lesser burden on society than unfettered crime on the internet that does not go away.And if /. be deemed to be a dangerous site, so be it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Last I checked Human Rights were called Human Rights, not qualified with "only for citizens of Country-XYZ". If a state wants to be considered civilised then it should have a civilised perspective on and adhere to human rights, whether it be Israel, China, USA or South Sudan.
    • I always love the "freedom of speech may work in the US but its not necessarily appropriate for my country..."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jkrise (535370)

        I always love the "freedom of speech may work in the US but its not necessarily appropriate for my country..."

        Freedom of speech isn't the only thing at issue here; consider a company known to clandestinely distributing malware / legitimate software that monitors user's activities by reporting back to its servers. I'm talking about CarrierIQ which is installed in many mobile devices; reporting back keystrokes, messages etc., getting access to data even before it is encrypted on the device.

        There was lots

    • How it's going to be, maybe, but surely there are limits to what a govenrment can do to its people's rights and still have it be "the way it ought to be."

      Here's the thing: if decisions are made ex parte and in secret, the odds that these decisions will be strictly limited to include only cases of "gambling, child pronography, and copyright infringement" are just about zero per cent.

      • by jkrise (535370)

        Here's the thing: if decisions are made ex parte and in secret, the odds that these decisions will be strictly limited to include only cases of "gambling, child pronography, and copyright infringement" are just about zero per cent.

        Fair enough, maybe it was worded that way to make it palatable to the legislators... a bit like SOPA was worded, and later rejected. While Israleis are normally a very clever bunch of people, a sizable number of them might not know what is good for themselves, and might be fal

    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @02:39PM (#42370541) Homepage Journal

      >Each nation should be able to legislate and govern internet access in the way it sees fit; and best suite for its citizen's good.

      They way you phrased this, someone could interpret you as saying that all governments act in the best interests of the people they govern.

      That can't be what you meant, though, because I know nobody's *that* naive in this day and age.

    • by terec (2797475)
      I don't see anybody calling for Israel to be prevented from doing this. However, the rest of us can still comment on it, can't we?
    • "Each clustered local group of dominants should be able create control mechanisms that engender their continuation in power, and I encourage them to use memetic rationalizations that easily spread to the common worker cogs when doing so."

      FTFY

    • Yes, let the Law have the all liberty it wants, wherever it live.

  • between "person who blogged about Olmert's overly aggressive war against Lebannon" and "Subversive Hezbollah sympathizer," that line needs to be in clear public view. It is a symbol of a country's bravery in times of fear. Ex-parte, non-disclosed proceedings will make it impossible for people to know the "why" and the balance the court has placed on fighting crime vs. sacrificing free speech. Without that visibility, there is zero chance that the line will be held in place, uninfluenced by politics.

    Of al

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      this is the problem.

      its not that some clear delineation exists between legal and illegal behavior and they just decided to keep it a secret

      its a secret because there is no line. there is no distinction between a citizen exercising the right to a reasonable
      and polite dissent of policies and a terrorist. if you get to be too much of a pain in the ass you will be silenced.

      and if 10 years from now its expedient to circumcise some other behaviors, then you as the government dont need to
      worry about any kind of me

  • It's kind of hard to "secretly" block a web site, isn't it?

    "Don't tell anyone, but no one can access this web site in Israel..."

    • Not really; the secret part is the arguments the court ruled on. Meaning, you'll get a court order saying "well, we'll block access to your website, but we can't let you see the evidence we have saying that there's gambling going on there".
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Except if you use ISPs outside the nation? VPN, satellite connections, Tor, etc. etc.

      But it is interesting how child porn is now on same level as copyright infringement. Very interesting. What's next stop? You don't agree with Israeli-Palestinian segregation and concentration camps? How about you don't agree with the First-Strike-on-Iran dogma? Those blogs and websites probably will not be available in Israel very long.

  • by alexo (9335) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:58PM (#42370301) Journal

    Which MP(s) are behind this initiative?

  • by CanEHdian (1098955) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @02:00PM (#42370311)

    block or restrict access to specific websites involved either in gambling, child pornography or copyright infringement.

    It used to be a joke when "copyright infringement" was put in the same category as serious offences, see this wonderful video [vimeo.com]. Are these politicians out of their mind, or are these people bought and paid for as the video suggests?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why is 'because holocaust' acceptable to defend deplorable acts of the Israeli government and yet 'because slavery' is not acceptable to rationalize the deplorable acts of a minority of people with a darker skin tone than their European cousins?

    • Why is 'because holocaust' acceptable to defend deplorable acts of the Israeli government

      Who's saying it is?

      the deplorable acts of a minority of people with a darker skin tone than their European cousins?

      Which acts by the descendants of slaves are you thinking of?

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @02:25PM (#42370473) Homepage

    will not be even dislosed to the owner of the website

    And a few consonants will be removed.

  • If they are trying to do good in a legal way, why does the government need such secrecy?

    i.e. If you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @02:45PM (#42370587) Homepage

    Note that the proposed law gives the power to censor to the Israeli justice minister. Yaakov Neeman, the current justice minister, is kind of weird. News articles:

    There's a sizable ultra-orthodox faction in Israel which wants a political system where rabbis run things. Neeman is from that faction. Israel already has rabbinical courts, but they're currently restricted to ruling on religious issues and divorces. Neeman has said he wants to expand the authority of rabbinical courts, which in Israel are dominated by ultra-othodox rabbis.

    Ultra-orthodox groups are very anti-Internet. [nymag.com] This goes way beyond censoring pornography. There are special censored ISPs that only allow a list of 400 approved sites, most of which are religious.

    So that's where this may be going, or at least where one faction would like to go. (Israel politics is currently deadlocked worse than US politics. There are many parties, none with a majority, and shifting coalitions. Different factions control different ministries as part of the deals made to put coalitions together. Just because the Justice Minister wants something doesn't mean the Government does.)

  • ...individuals....

    What the Fu& is this nations crap all about..... I'm not a nation and neither are you.

    The more open we are about the fact of being individuals the less those in command and control over "nations" have over us individuals.

  • How does that work? Either you can get to the site or you can't. Perhaps the IsItDownForJustMe type sites can be extended: IsItDownForJustOtherIsraelisOrEverythingElseToo.com perhaps?

  • Ok. I live in a country with 300 million plus inhabitants. Why should I care about a country with 8 million? Likewise why should someone in china give two craps about US tech news...
    • by JustNiz (692889)

      Because for some reason, the US seems think everyone should be disproportionately concerned about Israel.
      I guess thats an indicator of the degree of Jewish money/power/influence over the government and media in the USA.

    • by tftp (111690)

      Israel is disproportionally important in technology and in politics. It's one of nuclear club countries. If the World War III starts, it probably will start somewhere around there.

  • by pinkishpunk (1461107) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @03:53PM (#42371031)
    In 2005 such a DNS based filter was rolled out here in Denmark, First toured as a filter against Child pornography, as a none binding aggrement between the danish branch of save the children and the biggest Isp. By design its ofcause a none public liste, later in 2006 allofmp3.com was blocked using the same system, then the pirate bay was added, then sites that sells medicin that requires a prescription, and the lates addion was gamling sites that doesnt pay danish tax. In 2008 the list was leaked ( http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Denmark:_3863_sites_on_censorship_list%2C_Feb_2008 [wikileaks.org] ) , was found to be blocking sites not related to what it was intented to, legitime sites. It always starts out as against Child pornography, and then they will start put more and more into it.
  • by urdak (457938) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @04:58PM (#42371361)

    The summary, as well as the article, contains the sentence "Israel is to attempt, again, to pass a bill ...".
    Another way to phrase it is: "The bill did *not* pass last time, and may end up not passing again.".
    Sounds less sinister, doesn't it? And non-news....

    In other words., unlike some other countries (most notably the U.S.) where laws for taking down Websites have passed and have been used, laws outlawing various behaviors that have nothing to do with copying as "copyright circumvention", laws allowing people to be banished from the Internet have passed etc., - none of this crap exists in Israel. So if anything, the Internet freedom situation is *better* in Israel than in most countries.

    • by alexo (9335)

      The summary, as well as the article, contains the sentence "Israel is to attempt, again, to pass a bill ...".
      Another way to phrase it is: "The bill did *not* pass last time, and may end up not passing again.".
      Sounds less sinister, doesn't it? And non-news....

      Raising awareness helps ensure it will fail to pass again.
      This is what makes it news (or, at least, worth publishing).

  • But isn't copyright infringement a civil matter? The state can prosecute you for gambling, and child pornography, but doesn't an individual or company have to file a claim for copyright infringement? This seems like a ridiculous thing for a national level government to be concerning itself with.

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