10 - 16 February: Digital Rights Weekly Update


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The New Israeli Government and the Escalation of Violations of Palestinian Digital Rights (Arabic)

Faraa Maai

The new Israeli government is planning a wave of new legislations along with practices that deepen the violations of Palestinian digital rights, including the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in order to facilitate the violation of other human rights and obscure the implementation of the settlement plans and the various human rights violations against the Palestinians, with the aim of preventing their exposure and completely silencing the Palestinian voice against the new government.



Revealed: the Hacking and Disinformation Team Meddling in Elections (English)

The Guardian

A team of Israeli contractors who claim to have manipulated more than 30 elections around the world using hacking, sabotage and automated disinformation on social media has been exposed in a new investigation. The unit is run by Tal Hanan, a 50-year-old former Israeli special forces operative who now works privately using the pseudonym “Jorge”, and appears to have been working under the radar in elections in various countries for more than two decades.



International Leaders Push Social Media Companies to Ban Anti-Zionist Speech (English)


The international effort to criminalize criticism of Israel is hitting new strides. Bringing the weight of numerous Western governments, the so-called Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism has renewed efforts to label criticism of Israel as antisemitism and to thereby enable online censorship of any such criticism. On Monday, the co-chairs of the Task Force—Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) of the United States, Canadian Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather, and former Israeli Knesset Member Michal Cotler-Wunsh sent letters to the heads of Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram), Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok calling on them to redouble efforts to combat online antisemitism.



Seeing the World Like a Palestinian: Intersectional Struggles Against Big Tech and Israeli Apartheid (English)


With collaboration of Big Tech, Israeli state has rolled out ever more digital tools to spy, surveil and repress Palestinians in order to entrench its apartheid rule. Palestine is at the sharp end of digital colonialism and therefore a critical place for global resistance to begin. In May 2021, as Israeli forces launched an intense wave of airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip – resulting in 256 Palestinian casualties and tens of thousands injured – Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS) signed Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract to provide cloud services to the Israeli government and military. The two corporations would effectively provide the technological backbone of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. Three data centres are already underway for this project. Amazon Web Services also provided the cloud platform for Pegasus spyware until the news on Pegasus Project broke, and continues to do so for the Blue Wolf app, which allows Israeli soldiers to capture images of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and then matches them with military and intelligence databases.



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