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IDF clamps down on web journalists
About 30 bloggers and webmasters receive order to submit articles to the military censor for approval before pubication.
Yossi Gurvitz thought he was being pranked. The blogger behind the Facebook page "Friends of George" recently received a message from the military censor demanding that he forward all material before it is published in order to get approval.

 

 

The skeptical blogger called the censor and discovered the message was accurate. In the past few days, chief military censor Col. Ariella Ben-Avraham has sent missives to about 30 bloggers and webmasters demanding that they seek approval for articles dealing with "subjects that obligate examination", such as those dealing with the IDF, in accordance with emergency regulations.

 

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

 

Gurvitz was furious. "I have no intention of meeting this demand," he wrote. "The meaning of this demand is the eradication of new media in Israel, whose core is the speed of the response. I am examining legal proceedings available to me."

 

Sources in the military censor's office said that its legally-defined authorities "apply to every type of publication relating to national security". Ben-Avraham told Yedioth Ahronoth: "the censor's office works to monitor public online pages. It began back under the previous censor. We do not intent to apply the instructions on private profiles, but only public pages that defined themselves as dealing with news."

 

It should be noted that the IDF can demand that bloggers submit their posts to the censor, but if they refuse, its ability to delete them is severely limited by the fact that Facebook controls the information. That said, governments around the world occasionally contact Facebook with a request to remove illegal content.

 

The company considers the requests and does make illegal content unavailable – but only in that country, which in this case means it is of limited use. On the other hand, violating the censor's rules could lead to legal proceedings.

 

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 02.05.16, 22:14
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