Digital Rights Weekly Update 15 - 21 December


Check out the full report


7amleh Center report sheds light on Israel's surveillance industry and its impact on human rights (English) 


The report, Israel’s Surveillance Industry and Human Rights: Impact on Palestinians and Worldwide, relies on scholarly writing and policy briefs as well as previously published research on Palestinians living under intensive state surveillance which has increased significantly in the region following Israel’s war on Gaza, ongoing since October 7. The report emphasizes that the development of surveillance technologies and their unchecked proliferation in the occupied Palestinian territory has a repressive impact on the lives of civilians living under military occupation and exacerbates violence to the detriment of human rights in Palestine. Additionally, the development of these surveillance technologies has human rights implications worldwide.




Letter - Concerns Regarding Wikimedia Foundation’s Stance Amidst Israel’s War on Gaza (English) 


The Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition (PDRC) sees with great concern Wikimedia Foundation’s apparent circumvention of addressing Israel’s deliberate actions during the ongoing war on Gaza in its recent statement “Updates on the crisis in Gaza and Israel” released on December 1st, and acknowledges its statement made on December 5 calling for “unrestricted internet connectivity and access to knowledge in Gaza.” The coalition is doubly concerned at Wikimedia’s co-founder and board member Jimmy Wales' role in perpetuating online disinformation surrounding the war, which is seen to starkly contradict the organisation’s mission of combatting disinformation, casting a negative light on Wikimedia Foundation’s integrity. Seeing such an underwhelming communication from the Foundation after eight weeks of complete silence about the atrocities while its co-founder and board member continued amplifying pro-war disinformation is disheartening.





Senator demands answers on reports of Meta censoring pro-Palestinian content (English )


The US senator Elizabeth Warren issued a letter on Thursday to Mark Zuckerberg demanding information relating to allegations of suppression of pro-Palestine content on Meta platforms. Warren cited a statement co-signed by more than 90 human rights and civil rights organizations and listed various media reports and concerns about Meta’s censorship, removal and mistranslation of Palestine-related content since Hamas attacks on Israel escalated conflict there in October.




Palestinian accused of blocking Israeli colleague on social media arrested by police   (English) 


The Palestinian trainee doctor’s case is one of several instances where Palestinians - both citizens of Israel and from the occupied territories - and left-wing Jewish Israelis have been targeted for their social media use following the 7 October Hamas-led attack. On 23 October, the Israeli police arrived at the hospital asking several people where she was. “Everyone looked at me as if I was a criminal,” she recalled. The police told her that they wanted her for questioning, without giving any reason. They confiscated her mobile phone and searched through her bag, before leading her into a car outside the emergency department. “When I arrived at the police headquarters, they asked me if I knew how to speak Hebrew. I told them that I spoke Hebrew in medical terms, so I asked for a lawyer to be present, but they refused,” she recalled.





The Board overturns Meta’s original decision to remove the content from Instagram (English) 

Oversight board 

This case involves an emotionally powerful video of the aftermath of a strike on or near Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza during Israel’s ground offensive, with a caption condemning the attack. Meta’s automated systems removed the post for violating its Violent and Graphic Content Community Standard. After unsuccessfully contesting this decision with Meta, the user appealed to the Oversight Board. After the Board identified the case for review, Meta reversed its decision and restored the content with a warning screen.



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