30 June - 06 July: Digital Rights Weekly Update


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Weekly Update June 30 June - 06 “July”



Automated Apartheid: How Israel's occupation is powered by big tech, AI, and spyware (English)

The New Arab

Almost two years later, foreign aid, big tech, and new advanced surveillance systems have quite literally laid the groundwork for what Amnesty International calls an ‘Automated Apartheid’, one that is powered by Western corporations like Google and Amazon on the outside, and entrenched by spyware and AI on the inside. AI technology combined with a new far-right government have seen policies of repression in Israel’s military occupation escalate at an unprecedented rate over the last few years.





Israel Is Already Weaponizing AI — But Not in the Ways It Claims to Be (English)


Do scholars and activists who support Palestinian rights sometimes unintentionally promote the Israeli arms industry? The Israeli military hype machine famously uses the occupation as a “laboratory” or as a “showcase” for its newly developed weapons, but this creates a dilemma for activists who oppose Israeli arms exports. Scholars and activists are morally obligated to highlight the crimes committed by the Israeli forces. But by pointing to the destruction, suffering, and death caused by these weapons, activists may inadvertently reproduce exactly the propaganda that allows Israel to sell its technologies of death, destruction, and repression.





Unmasking ChatGPT’s anti-Palestinian bias: what’s the root? (English)

Doha News

While AI has the potential to be a transformative force, its current limitations, specifically in terms of bias, need to be addressed. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has indisputably become a dominant force in our lives, influencing everything from online shopping to medical diagnoses. At its core, AI is designed to learn from data and make decisions or predictions based on it. This objective, albeit straightforward, can become convoluted when the data is skewed or inherently biased. Case in point: the purported bias against Palestinians in AI systems, including ChatGPT, the popular language model developed by OpenAI.





German court rules in favor of Palestinian journalist dismissed by DW over allegations of anti-Semitism (English)

Peoples Dispatch

A German court has ruled that the dismissal of Palestinian-Jordanian journalist Farah Maraqa by the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) in February 2022 on charges of anti-Semitism was “not legally binding.” According to the verdict as quoted by Maraqa in a Twitter post on Wednesday, June 28, “DW misinformed the staff council” about the reasons for her dismissal. However, she mentioned that the final verdict was still awaited. The court was hearing an appeal filed by DW against a verdict given by a German labor court in September 2022 which said that Maraqa’s dismissal on charges of “anti-Semitism” was legally unjustified and wrongful. Maraqa and six other Arab/Palestinian journalists were fired by DW in February 2022 after a controversial investigation, based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s controversial definition of anti-Semitism and led by pro-Israel persons, found that their social media posts or writings published in other publications had anti-Semitic elements.


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