Israeli Court Supports Anonymity For Online Commenters

from the good-for-them dept

While the US courts have been quite good about protecting the anonymity of online commenters, very few other countries feel the same way. However, Roni Evron alerts us to a ruling in Israel that also protects the anonymity of blog commenters, ruling that the site doesn't need to hand over the IP addresses of commenters:
"The good of online anonymity outweighs the bad, and it must be seen as a byproduct of freedom of speech and the right to privacy."
The court didn't necessarily say that commenters could never be revealed, but that courts have to be careful to measure the impact:
Avraham suggested looking at issues such as how extreme the allegedly damaging remarks are, whether the attack was systematic or a one-time phenomenon, and how seriously a reasonable reader would take the comments.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 10:37pm

    Want to bet the rules would be different for an anonymous poster putting up pro-Palestinian stuff, or perhaps posting "death to Israel" or something like that?

    I wouldn't use Israel as an example of an enlightened society.

     

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  2.  
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    zegota (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 10:59pm

    Re:

    Out of curiosity, what country would you use as an example? No one is perfect or Utopian -- that doesn't mean the successes can't be pointed out.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Yosi, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:19pm

    Re:

    Yea, we're really like all "pro-Palestinian" stuff here - starting from blog comments and ending on missile attacks.

    I guess this won't make us "enlightened society". Nevermind.

     

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  4.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Sorry Yosi but Anti Mike seems to manage to have something stupid to say no matter what the post is. I don't think anyone takes him that seriously, but you can if you like. I hope you don't though :)

     

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  5.  
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    Avigdor, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:43am

    Re:

    Right because our own newspapers get reprimanded everytime they post pro-palistinian stuff or our movie industry shows Israel in a bad light...
    /sarcasm

     

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  6.  
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    Roy, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:51am

    Anti-Mike,

    You're an idiot.

     

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  7.  
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    Dementia (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 3:11am

    You mean someone actually takes comments to blog posts and such seriously??? That would be like people discussing journalism, wouldn't it?

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re:

    "Yea, we're really like all "pro-Palestinian" stuff here - starting from blog comments and ending on missile attacks.

    I guess this won't make us "enlightened society". Nevermind."

    Okay, the enlightened society bit was clearly intended to get a rise (and btw TAM, a better choice of words WAS in order), but he also brings up a good point. We can all look to Israel as a leader in some areas: Airport Security, Intelligence gathering, etc.), but personal liberty? C'mon, getting a story like this is fine, but because it comes from Israel I just have to shrug.

    And TAM's right, if this had been generalized anti-Semitic threats, the reaction likely would have been different. Not for any reason other than Israel HAS to be crazy about security. I don't begrudge them that.

    What I begrudge them for is the lies to their international partners (We don't have nukes, we swear, psst, even though we got them from you), their seeming inability to understand that the land their on isn't theirs by the rights of God but by the Rights of the United States who probably shouldn't have gotten involved to begin with, and their tongue wagging on personal liberties when the conditions they force onto all of Palestine, terrorists and not, are absolutely DEPLORABLE.

    Not every pro-Palestinian blog post ends in a missile attack (or maybe bottle rocket attack would be a better description), but if the right to anonymous speech is a right worth protecting, it's a right worth protecting for EVERYBODY, even the dark skinned feller with the beard who doesn't like you so much....

     

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  9.  
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    Andy, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Re:

    Actually, because Israelis are politically divided, around 40% of the comments ARE pro-palestinian, and yes, it applies to all comments.
    I don't know how long you've lived in Israel (since you know about its society), but the nature of society there actually makes anonymous commenting a must...

     

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  10.  
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    Emo the Libertarian (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would point out that the Palestinian's did not have a country before Israel either.. Not really supporting either side, both have many things to be ashamed of, but Palestine wasn't a country, it was a group that lived in part of 3 or 4 other country's that controled the region. And those groups have been fighting for about 2,000 years at this point, so its pretty ingrained in them to hate each other.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    "I wouldn't use Israel as an example of an enlightened society."

    But China is ?

     

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  12.  
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    NullOp, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:47am

    In general...

    Israel is probably not the best example of an enlightened society but you have to admit they don't take shit from other countries. Plus they execute terrorists and don't ask permission to believe in what they believe.

    Works for me...

     

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  13.  
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    OG, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Re:

    Actually, if you took the time to look into it, you would see that Israel allows more anti-governmental speech than almost any other country in the world. I recommend that you go and look at some Israeli political blogs before you make such a statement. I'll guarantee you one thing, there are more pro-Palestinian groups operating in Israel by Israelis than there are pro-Al Qaeda groups operating in the US. The Palestinians seek an and to the existence of Israel and Al Qaeda seems an end to the existence of the US. So, I ask you, between the US and Israel, which is more enlightened?

     

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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    Re: In general...

    "you have to admit they don't take shit from other countries."

    Oh, how brave of them, knowing that their older brother is the neighborhood bully. Please, the creation of a Jewish state could have been handled a million times better than we handled it. Tossing a bunch of European Jews on the holy land for three major religions and saying it's theirs...yet, who could have foresaw all of these problems?

    Sigh...

     

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  15.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re:

    "Actually, if you took the time to look into it, you would see that Israel allows more anti-governmental speech than almost any other country in the world."

    I'd like to do as you suggested and see this pro-Palestinian speech on blogs IN is Israel...because frankly, I've been to Israel, I have friends who are still there, and I don't believe a word of what you just said....

     

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  16.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    Out of curiosity, what country would you use as an example? No one is perfect or Utopian -- that doesn't mean the successes can't be pointed out.

    heh, good point.

    The thing is - while technology moves forward our 'society' moves backwards. I think the concept of 'enlightened' in reference to modern day society is either a denial tactic or a whishy-washy academic viewpoint that again; is so mired in denial it can't see it's hand in front of it's face.

    Our rights dwindle, most can see that. Any 'enlightened' society would realize it's moving towards tyranny.

    So.. I don't think there are really any examples of the above right now. Perhaps the U.S. was for many years, but current politicians now think they themselves are 'enlightened' and the rest of us are just 'proles'.

    That type of thinking is shallow, at best.

     

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  17.  
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    Yawn, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I live in Israel.
    Most would define me as an extreme left-wing "hippy".

    We've got a shitload of good pro-palestinian sites, blogs, protests, parliament reps, what not.

     

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  18.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fair enough. I assume at least some of them are in English, since it's commonly spoken there. Care to point me to one or two?

    FYI, not saying you're wrong here, your experience and mind have just been vastly different, and I am always reexamining my positions when necessary....

     

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  19.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: In general...

    Actually, the US had nothing to do with creating Israel. The area was controlled by Great Britain and they did the creating. It also means that it was British soldiers killed while the Jewish people agitated for their own state.

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: In general...

    "Actually, the US had nothing to do with creating Israel."

    When I hear a comment as ridiculous as that, I begin to gnash my teeth in pain. The Balfour declaration may have been made by a Brit, and the UK might have been granted a mandate over Palestine in the 1920's, but who granted them that mandate? It was the League of Nations, a group propelled into existence by Woodrow Wilson and dominated by America.

    "The area was controlled by Great Britain and they did the creating."

    What in the world are you TALKING about? Britain didn't create a THING to do with Israel. In fact, they were notorious for making immigrant Jews follow quotas so as to protect the rights of the Palestinians. Eventually the Brits got tired of administering to the two belligerant groups and withdrew from their mandate over the region. It was the League of Nations' successor, the America-dominated (at the time) United Nations that created the partitions and granted Israel its statehood.

    Israel then proclaimed its independance to make the state official, causing the Arab-Israeli war, in which several Arab armies invaded the West Bank and elsewhere. America and Russia jointly called the incurrsions AGGRESSIVE actions by the Arabs and rallied international support to Israel, including but not limited to money, arms, and advisors.

    Israel only exists because a combination of American politicians and American private citizens, along with Stalin's influence (he was originally pro-Zionist), efforts.

    Britain had nearly NOTHING to do with creating the state of Israel....

     

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  21.  
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    Yawn, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The ones that matter are in Hebrew, because the struggle is within. Blogs written in English usually dumb-down the issues to a black/white blob to be presented to the outside world.

    Major newspapers (for isntance Haaretz) are often openly strongly left-winged, and the largest protest in Israel's history (400k ppl, which was more than 10% of total population) was against the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

    Basically, the country is extremely divided. To great irony, leftists often attend the most elite and dangerous IDF units, and it's the lower/poorer/less educated classes that avoid army service and are more right-winged.

    Shit is comlicated, and unless you know Hebrew AND Arabic, neither your support nor opposition to Israeli actions has any real opinion behind it. It's as futile as having an opinion about America's finest political issues without understanding English.

     

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  22.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Shit is comlicated, and unless you know Hebrew AND Arabic, neither your support nor opposition to Israeli actions has any real opinion behind it."

    Oh come on now, that isn't right. The issue itself can be translated by multiple reputable parties to make sure you're getting a good idea of what's going on. Saying you can't play if you don't speak both languages is absolutely silly....

     

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  23.  
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    Yogi, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Dark Helmet Fail

    Your ignorance of Israeli society and the history of the conflict is embarrassing. I expected more from our future leader...

    Having lived in both countries I feelthat Israel is in many ways much freer and humane and tolerant than the U.S.despite living on the brink of annihilation for decades. But this would be impossible to know if you just read the MSM - such stories don't sell - not even in Israel.

     

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  24.  
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    Yosi, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:23am

    Re: Re: In general...

    >> Oh, how brave of them, knowing that their older brother is the neighborhood bully

    It's not like US soldiers were dying in Independence/Judgment-Day/6-Day/etc war.
    How brave of you to carpet bomb Vietnam/Yugoslavia/Korea/Iraq.

     

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  25.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Dark Helmet Fail

    MSM?

    Where in my general overview of the history was I incorrect, exactly? You can't fit all the details and nuance into a comment here, and who would read it anyway, but where exactly was the fail?

    Oh, and btw, that whole brink of annihilation thing has been going on for far too long, and it's the same nonsense that we deal with in the states, where politicians are telling us what a horrible threat terrorism is and how chances are we're all going to die very soon. Israel has it far tougher than the US, but brink of annihilation for decades?

    C'mon, if that were true, then one of those against Israel would have finished her off, even if by luck....

     

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  26.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Re: In general...

    Sigh, you apparently think I'm trying to praise the US govt. here...which, btw, is laughable. I'm trying to talk history and reason instead of hyperbole and fear. Both nations have their issues, as every other nation on the planet.

    I'm not an anti-semite, nor am I anti-Israel. I'm pro-EVERYONE, and that includes the Palestinians who have a history of being shit on by everyone else on the planet, including all those Arab nations that are currently rushing to their defense.

    This is why I hate emotions in arguments. They're stupidly muddying up what isn't THAT tough of an issue. Not that it's simple, but nearly 80 years of this shit? C'mon...

     

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  27.  
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    nclow, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    I don't agree with what Anti-Mike says, but I approve of his right to post his trollishy and insane gibberish anonymously.

     

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