The Kan public broadcaster has joined forces with Israel’s 2 main commercial TV channels, 12 and 13, to campaign against the bill being promoted by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi to overhaul the country’s media market.
“Implementation of this destructive plan, which includes government supervision and censorship of news as is customary in dictatorships, will lead to serious harm to Israeli democracy, freedom of expression and journalism in Israel,” a joint statement by the broadcasters read.
Karhi’s plans include closing the Second Authority for Television and Radio and the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council. In its place, a single, nine-member regulatory panel will be set up ,chosen mostly by politicians.
KAN's Mark Weiss spoke about Karhi's bill with Dr Tehilla Schwartz Altshuler, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and head of the institute's Media Reform Program.
The term "incapacitation" refers to a situation in which a government official is unable to perform their duty. The previous version of the law did not detail what constitutes incapacitation, nor who is authorized to declare incapacitation. The current version is accused of being personal and political.
Recent media reports alleging that the police are using controversial surveillance software to spy on Israeli citizens has troubling implications and the current Protection of Privacy Law is not equipped to cope with today’s reality. Israel badly needs new legislation that is up to the challenges of the information age.
In its attempts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Israel has employed a measure that has not been used by any other democratic country. Since mid-March, the Israeli government has sought the assistance of the General Security Service (also known as the Israeli Security Agency, the ISA, the Shabak or Shin Bet) in conducting epidemiological investigations by providing the Ministry of Health with the routes of coronavirus carriers and lists of individuals with whom they have been in close contact. The ISA queries its communication metadata database to identify the route of confirmed carriers and the individuals with whom they have been in close contact.
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.
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.
When a sizable portion of our decision-makers have that difficulty, and “digital illiteracy” becomes evident in the upper echelons where decisions are made, we’ve got a problem. This article was first published by The Jerusalem Post.
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.
How long will we continue to recite the mantra that “technology cannot be stopped?” To what extent will we take a stand and cease to permit bad social engineering? This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.
Israel's Military Censor, an institution that has no parallel in any other democracy in the world, must cease to exist.
Implementing the Freedom of Information Act in Israel
Justifications and Restrictions
A Proposal for Amending the Penal Prohibition