‘FACEBOOK Law’ Passes Knesset Preliminary VotePublished: January 3rd, 2017
The Knesset early Tuesday morning passed in a preliminary vote a bill calling for the removal of criminal content from the Internet. The vote was 36 for, 2 against. The bill will now move to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for amendments in preparation for a second and third plenum vote.
The bill proposes to authorize the Administrative Court to issue, on behalf of a plaintiff, an order to remove content from the Internet in cases where there exist two cumulative conditions: one, that publishing the content constitutes a criminal offense; and two, that there exists a real possibility that publishing the content would harm the safety of an individual, the public, or the state.
The bill includes instructions and limits to prevent excessive harm to the freedom of expression, and to permit efficient action by law enforcement.
The bill enables an Administrative Court judge to issue an order to Internet service providers such as Facebook, upon the state’s request, to remove online inciting content.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) said, following the vote: “I am happy to proceed in promoting such an important law in the fight against incitement online whose consequences a destructive and dangerous.”
“Cooperation with the social networks will help reduce the number of inciting messages that are posted daily online, and deliver a clear message that we will not tolerate calls for violence, even if they are ‘only’ written with keyboards and appear ‘only’ on screens. This is because a single word is liable to turn life into death,” Shaked said.
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said that “despite the fact that incitement leads to terrorism, Facebook and Internet providers still do not oblige all police requests to remove inciting content, and sometimes it takes a very long time to remove the inciting content. It makes the new law a necessity, giving us the tools to act immediately to remove content which might lead to acts of terrorism and murder.”David Israel
About the Author: David writes news at JewishPress.com.