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"Ending digital discrimination against Palestinians" is the title of the Palestine Digital Activism Forum in its seventh edition, which is organized by 7amleh - the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media in Palestine. It will be held over 3 days, from Tuesday, 23 to Thursday 25, May 2023. Digital discrimination against Palestinians has many faces, most notably the restrictions on social platforms such as “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “Tik Tok”, “Instagram” and other platforms, as well as discrimination in dealing with digital platforms and digital e-commerce sites, in addition to monitoring and restrictions strategies. This year, the Forum comes in cooperation with 45 partner institutions, and hosts more than 90 speakers, male and female, and trainers locally, regionally, and internationally, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Francesca Albanese, and the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, Major technology companies and social platforms are also participating in the forum, including Meta, Zoom, Google and Wikimedia. The Palestine Forum for Digital Activism proposes events for 2023 in a composite, face-to-face and digital form, remotely, as the digital events include various political sessions that focus on different aspects of digital discrimination against Palestinians. Sessions will focus on issues of the impact of tourism applications, digital maps, and archives on the narratives of oppressed peoples, the impact of digital economic discrimination on the right of Palestinians to access freedom, justice, and dignity, and the use of surveillance technologies to deepen systemic discrimination against Palestinian women and communities of color around the world.
On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the Law Institute at Birzeit University organized a workshop on "Law and Information Technology". This workshop comes within the framework of the meetings of the Institute of Legal Rights and the Master of Law and Information Technology program, with the aim of shedding light on the reality of technology uses and their relationship with legal rules. The workshop was attended by experts and specialists in the field of law and information technology, including academics, consultants, students, and those interested in law, technology, and digital rights. As for the third session, it was entitled Digital Rights in Palestine: Ensuring Access, Privacy, and Freedom of Information, in which Mr. Muammar Orabi, a lawyer and journalist at Watan Media Network, spoke about freedom of digital expression and content censorship in Palestine, reviewing the most prominent issues in practice related to violations of freedom of expression, pointing out that digital content and the Palestinian narrative are under siege from different aspects and at multiple levels. Then Ms. Catherine Abuamsha, the Local Advocacy manager for the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media “7amleh”, gave a presentation on electronic transformation and data privacy in the Palestinian reality, indicating the legal reference for data privacy, and the most prominent realistic issues arising from the absence of a legal framework regulating privacy and data protection in the Palestinian case.
A new report published by Amnesty International last Tuesday revealed that the Israeli Defense Forces are increasingly utilizing advanced facial recognition technology to track the movements of Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron and occupied East Jerusalem. In its 82-page report, Amnesty documents how the Israeli authorities are utilizing artificial intelligence-driven surveillance tools, a camera system called "red wolf" since 2022, deploying it at checkpoints as part of a program that “relies on databases consisting exclusively of Palestinian individuals’ data.”
he Israeli occupation was not satisfied with the policy of isolating and suffocating the Palestinian population in the cities of occupied Jerusalem and Hebron in the southern West Bank, through its widespread military checkpoints, so that its “red wolf” – which is a modern technical system – devours their privacy during their movement, by deploying smart cameras on these checkpoints. Which spread more within the neighborhoods of the Holy City, as well as the electronic iron gates that tear Hebron apart in the first place. The work of the “Red Wolf” system is based on the technology of scanning the faces of the residents of the two occupied cities, and adding them to huge databases to track their traces, without their consent, in flagrant violation of human rights laws.
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