Clean internet bill passes first reading

Bill that would have required ISPs in Israel to block inappropriate websites passes first reading in the Knesset.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


A bill that would have required internet service providers in Israel to block inappropriate websites unless otherwise instructed by a customer on Wednesday passed its first reading in the Knesset in a watered-down form.

The bill, which was proposed by MK Shuli Mualem (Jewish Home), was passed in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.

The proposed legislation would have required all Israeli internet service providers (ISPs) to automatically filter any pornographic or violent content unless a customer specifically requests that sites containing such content be unfiltered.

Previous legislation to deal with the widespread access to inappropriate content online had merely mandated that ISPs provide customers with the option to place filters on their internet service, rather than mandating that the filters be used by default.

After the committee approved the bill, however, the Communications Ministry said it was opposed to the wording of the bill and asked that it be watered down.

The bill now requires the internet service providers to inform customers by text message and email of the option to receive filtered internet.

The bill must pass two more readings before it becomes a law.

Internet providers currently provide such filters for free when requested by a customer, as required under the present law.

JTA contributed to this report.