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Israeli Bill Would Allow Secret Courts To Issue Confidential Warrants To Block Web Sites Allegedly Involved In Copyright Infringement

from the how-did-we-end-up-here? dept

One of the most depressing developments in recent years has been the gradual adoption of legal approaches to tackling copyright infringement that a few years ago would have been regarded as totally unacceptable, and the hallmarks of a tinpot republic run by some ridiculous dictator. Here's another example, this time from Israel, involving secret courts and inscrutable judgments, as Jonathan Klinger explains:

Israel is to attempt, again, to pass a bill that authorizes police officers to issue warrants to Internet service providers to block or restrict access to specific websites involved either in gambling, child pornography or copyright infringement. The bill itself proposes that such administrative procedures shall be clandestine and that court decisions shall be made ex-parte, where some of the court's ruling will not be even disclosed to the owner of the website, and the court may hear and use inadmissible evidence.
So not only are we talking about a process that can be conducted in secret, based on "inadmissible evidence" and in the absence of the accused (ex-parte), but one where core aspects of the final judgment may be withheld from the individuals affected, who will therefore have no way of knowing what they stand accused of, and hence no way of challenging the block.

Some might regard this as proportionate when combatting crimes as serious as child pornography; but undermining basic principles of law to tackle gambling sites, or those allegedly providing unauthorized access to copyright materials, seems an incredibly high price to pay for very little benefit. It's yet another indication of the way in which a continuing but unwinnable war on sharing has seriously damaged fundamental aspects of how justice and society now function.

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Filed Under: blocking, censorship, copyright, israel, secret courts


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: NO harm in NOT having "unauthorized access to copyright materials,"

    There indeed is no harm in not having unauthorized access to copyright materials. BUT in your dire need to just take up a talking point contrary to that stated in the article, this is about more than that. This is about a bill that would allow secret courts to issue confidential warrants to block, as in completely (a.k.a. censor) web sites for ALLEGED copyright infringement. Just think about that for a second. I know it's asking a lot, perhaps even too much, of you but do try.

    Also, as has been stated to the point of annoyance, copyright infringement is NOT theft. So please don't bring up "stolen content" again. It's an attempt to paint an act as something it's clearly not, in a pathetic attempt to make it appear far worse.

    As for the stated goal, I don't get what you're referring to or even talking about. This article wasn't about what you seem to think it is. "Boohoo. They're trying to keep us from getting unauthorized content in a manner that is illegal in some countries." The article is about the ends not justifying the means. Namely, the gross violation of due process on the mere claims of infringement. That can, and most assuredly will, be used as a stepping stone to block other websites. In no way is the article saying "to hell with copyright". It's sad that you grasp at straws that aren't even there just to take up a counter talking point, and one that barely makes sense at that.

    Seriously, do the world a favor, take your meds or smash your head against a brick wall as hard as is possible for a few hours. You can't end up any stupider than you already are. Heck, we might even see an improvement in your intelligence. Which isn't saying much as you can't get any lower.

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