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 @ 6:57pm

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

    How about if a secret court blocked a website dedicated to infringing activity instead- since that seems to be what the rest of us are all talking about.

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