Democracy in the Information Age

This program seeks to harness technology to transform government and make it more transparent, accountable and effective. The program devises policies, regulatory proposals and innovative software platforms designed to improve service, enhance transparency, boost accountability and raise citizen participation. 

In recent years, the program has partnered with Google Israel to place municipal budgets online, worked with regulators to craft an open database policy, and helped the Israeli government meet its obligations under the "Open Government Partnership" of the world's leading tech nations.

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    Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler

    Director

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    A board member of the National Press Council and lecturer at the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University. She is a former head of the research department at the Israeli Second Authority for Television and Radio, a former research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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    Adv. Alona Vinograd

    Director

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    Vinograd led legal battles to increase public transparency and battled against corruption in various issues including education, health, transportation and more. She has more than a decade of experience in the social sector, and in 2015 she was awarded the Rappaport Prize for Women Generating Change in Israeli Society.

     

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    Rotem Madzinni

    Research Assistant

Black Friday is a good reminder that that in order to protect our privacy as well as minimize the use of personal data to influence our ability to make free choices, there needs to be a change in consumers’ habits as well as increased digital literacy. 

The digital domain has developed into something of a wild west for election campaigning in recent years. While there are strict laws governing the press, radio, and television, there are almost no restrictions on online campaigning, such as on the forms of advertising permitted, the use of personal data, and advertising budgets. This lack of regulation has already been shown to potentially affect election results, and may lead to the misuse of information on residents, routinely collected by the municipality as part of its function by those in positions of power in local government. 

The Facebook Bill, which would allow the government to use administrative means to remove content from social networking sites, would both set a precedent and be ineffective

Priavcy is a requirement for the proper functioning of any democratic society.

The sale of Mobileye to Intel is not surprising when you consider that last year MIT Technology Review ranked the Jerusalem-based company as one of the 10 smartest companies in the world. As such, the real story is the relationship between government, society, and technology.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that “the time has come for the Start-Up Nation to also have a Start-Up Government.” I agree. But can it be done?

What is the state of freedom of information in Israel? Like in the US, there is good and bad news.

In Israel, we talk a lot about innovation. But what does the term really mean?

Ahead of a recent discussion by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on the “Facebook Bill,” IDI’s Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler wrote a policy statement in which she called the bill non-applicable to the modern day. She said the bill is likely to cause disproportionate censorship through what will be dysfunctional legal proceedings.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler argues that the Protection of Privacy Law does not create an absolute right, and whoever enters public life must be able to give up parts of his/her privacy, no matter how difficult that might be. This op-ed originally appeared in the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The challenge of freedom of information goes beyond the balance between the right to information and the limits of that right.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler argues that the main reason the coup in Turkey fizzled is not because of Erdogan’s FaceTime message, but because he had been anticipating this putsch for quite a few years and had arranged the entire legal apparatus that governs the relationship between the Turkish government and the media accordingly. 

Privacy Matters in the Digital Age

March 26, 2017

Priavcy is a requirement for the proper functioning of any democratic society.

As violent extremism grows in cyberspace, IDI and Yad Vashem team up to tackle online hate speech. Meeting on November 7 for the first of a series of international workshops intended to formulate policy recommendations for governments and social media corporations.

  • Participation by invitation only

IDI hosts a timely workshop that examines the connection between advances in digital technology, development and dissemination of media content, good government and the future viability of Israel's democracy.

  • Participation by invitation only

The growing use of computers in all areas of life is rapidly changing the legal landscape. The frequency of computer is causing regulatory agencies to request that their authority to search online content (including mobile devices) be expanded. This IDI discussion was by invitation only.