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Bill: Internet providers to block adult sites

MKs okay first reading of bill to block minors from accessing sites containing porn, gambling and violent content. 'This constitutes a violation of basic rights,' legal expert says

The Knesset approved Wednesday the first reading of a bill to limit access to adult websites. Twenty-five MK voted for the bill, which was submitted by Shas Knesset Member Amnon Cohen (Shas), and none opposed.MK Jamal Zahalke (National Democratic Assembly) abstained.


According to the bill, internet providers will be required to block access of minors to adult websites which contain sex, violence or gambling.


The internet providers would only allow access to the sites pending physical or biometric identification of the surfer, in addition to a password, in order to verify his age.


The bill stipulates a NIS 20,000 fine for providers who will fail to comply with the new procedure.


The bill does not specify which sites should be included in the restriction, and also fails to refer to its technological and financial feasibility.


Violation of rights  

"The bill's definitions are flawed and it constitutes a violation of the right for privacy and freedom of speech," Dr. Michael Birnhack of Haifa University's Faculty of Law said.


"The bill does not define what is a site that deals with sex, and so it would appear that it is also meant to block access to sites explaining about human sexuality, open sex, gay and lesbian sites, or sites explaining about martial arts, because they deal with violence," he stated.


"There is no practical way to define what should be blocked and what shouldn't," he added.


Birnhack also claimed that the bill violates the right for privacy, as it compels the internet provider to monitor the surfing habits of its clients. "Constitutional rights enable us to surf to any site we please and it's nobody's business where we surf to," he concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 03.01.07, 17:05
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