Digital Rights Weekly Update 8 - 14 December


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US police agencies took intelligence directly from IDF, leaked files show (English) 

The guardian

Hacked police files show US law enforcement agencies for decades received analysis of incidents in the Israel-Palestine conflict directly from the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli thinktanks, training on domestic “Muslim extremists” from pro-Israel non-profits, and surveilled social media accounts of pro-Palestine activists in the US.





Experts Warn of Israeli Gov't Bill Proposing PM Can Let Shin Bet Secretly Search Cellphones, Computers (English) 


Experts: Amendment to surveillance law would give Israeli PM great power without oversight. The Israeli government wants to let the Shin Bet secretly search cellphones and computers using spyware and to access databases with information it 'needs to do it job'. The Israeli government published Monday the draft of what could become the first amendment to the 2002 law regulating Israel's domestic security agency. According to the bill's preamble, its purpose is "to clarify and update provisions in the law, while circumscribing the authorities given to the Shin Bet security service and establishing objective reporting, supervision and control mechanisms."





Even in time of genocide, Big Tech silences Palestinians (English) 


The scorching violence against the people of Gaza has been unprecedented. And so have its reverberations online. Palestinians documenting and speaking up against Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza have faced relentless censorship and repression, accompanied by an explosion of state-sponsored disinformation, hate speech and calls to violence on social media. Following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, Big Tech set to eliminate content on the war that they claimed violated their rules. TikTok removed more than 925,000 videos from the Middle East between October 7 and 31. As of November 14, X, formerly known as Twitter, had taken action on over 350,000 posts. Meta, for its part, removed or marked as disturbing more than 795,000 posts in the first three days of the attack.





Israel is using an AI system to find targets in Gaza. Experts say it's just the start (English) 


The pace is astonishing: In the wake of the brutal attacks by Hamas-led militants on October 7, Israeli forces have struck more than 22,000 targets inside Gaza, a small strip of land along the Mediterranean coast. Just since the temporary truce broke down on December 1, Israel's Air Force has hit more than 3,500 sites. The Israeli military says it's using artificial intelligence to select many of these targets in real-time. The military claims that the AI system, named "the Gospel," has helped it to rapidly identify enemy combatants and equipment, while reducing civilian casualties. But critics warn the system is unproven at best — and at worst, providing a technological justification for the killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians.





Instagram quietly rolled out a misinformation feature that has sparked claims of stealth censorship (English) 


A feature meant to give Instagram users control over how Meta’s fact-checking process affects their feeds is sparking backlash and speculation after the company rolled it out quietly with little explanation. In an update Tuesday to a blog post originally published in July, Meta said Instagram had recently added new user controls to its “Fact-Checked Control program.” “The Fact-Checked Control allows you to choose how fact-checked content that we usually reduce, appears in your feed from accounts you follow,” the company says on its help page. “This control is automatically set to the default (Reduce), which is the same level of fact-checked content we’ve previously shown from accounts you follow. You can change this setting at any time to see more or less fact-checked content.”




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