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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Israeli Chasidic Rebbe Permits Use of Filtered Internet, Smartphones

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

According to Rabbi Boruch Meir Yaakov Shochet, the Karlin-Stoliner Rebbe, Jewish Law is not in conflict with technology, and this includes innovations such as the Internet and smartphones which almost universally prohibited in Haredi, especially Hasidic circles, according to news website Behadrei Haredim, citing Rabbi Shimon Spitzer, a representative of the Rebbe.

In the Karlin-Stoliner Rebbe’s opinion, a draconian, sweeping prohibition on electronic communications creates a situation where many break the law in secret and are exposed to dangerous content, when a more permissive approach would have encouraged open use with filtering of inappropriate content.

The Rebbe established a rabbinical committee to debate the issue and gave his certification to a store in the largely Chasidic Beitar Illit that sold sanctioned Smartphones. At the time, the city erupted in protest, but the Rebbe eventually won the day.

Rabbi Spitzer has now been sent as the Rebbe’s emissary to promote his position to the multitudes of Chasidim, delineating the following four principles:

1. According to Torah one cannot prohibit something which may also be used for positive ends.

2. As technology is becoming more advanced every day, it makes no sense to issue frequent prohibitions which would surely be eliminated by new prohibitions following the next innovation. This belittles the image of today’s sages and results in fighting symptoms rather than the real problem.

3. A rabbinical decree which the people are unable to abide by is no help at all. A high percentage of Haredim are using the Internet, and turning a blind eye on the problem is bound to cause harm. The Internet cannot be prohibited, much like the use of a car–which may result in an accident, cannot be prohibited.

4. Finally, the Karlin-Stoliner Rebbe is by no stretch of the imagination a liberal, emphasizing that he only permits using the Internet through massive filters, and also pointing out that just the way some people should not be allowed to drive a car, some Chasidim should not be permitted to own a smartphone.


Anti-Porn Censorship Bill Passes Unanimously in Ministerial Committee

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

A bill to censor pornography on the internet by default has passed unanimously in a vote on Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. It was sponsored by Bayit Yehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli, who said she is “not interested in blocking a campaign for breast cancer awareness,” but rather wants to be sure that local websites clearly tag content in a way that assists the filters.

The bill forces Israeli internet service providers (ISPs) to censor pornography by default, and requires users to notify their service providers either in writing, by phone or via the ISP website in order to opt out of the censorship.

The measure is aimed at knocking out underage access to online adult content.

“In the balance between the private individual and society, we take a wide view,” Mualem-Refaeli said. “We are calling to create a society that protects itself from things for which we pay a heavy price. A person who is interested in these sites needs to understand that at the moment Israel is in a process, that he is an individual but part of a whole society.”

The measure now heads to the Knesset to begin the process of final approval in the Knesset plenum.

Israeli ISPs are required by law to notify their customers that they provide internet filters they can use without charge. But lawmakers say many parents and other adults are not aware the option exists, making it clear that ISPs either do not notify their customers, or provide the notification in such a way as to make the option difficult to understand.

Hana Levi Julian

Massive Cyber Attack Knocks Out Major US Internet Sites, Then in Parts of Europe

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

A mega cyber attack on the eastern United States late Friday knocked out the internet via simple devices such as digital recorders and webcams, rapidly spreading to the rest of the country and then to parts of Europe.

Internet giants such as PayPal, Twitter, Spotify, as well as other customers of the Dyn infrastructure company in New Hampshire were down across the Eastern Seaboard at first, but then the malfuction spread rapidly across the internet to other sites.

Dyn is a firm that acts as a kind of distributor or switchboard for internet traffic. The company’s chief strategy officer, Kyle York, told Reuters, “The complexity of the attacks is what’s making it very challenging for us.” The Flashpoint security firm is assisting Dyn with analyzing the attack, Reuters reported Saturday.

The company said the attacks were coming from millions of internet addresses, which called it an especially potent type of distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Such an attack involves flooding the target with so much junk traffic, the targeted address freezes up.

Users were also unable to reach CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Yelp, Mashable and some sites hosted by Amazon.com Inc.

The hackers used home devices previously infected with a malicious code – in this case, Mirai code that was dumped on to the internet a month ago – – that caused outages that began in the United States, but quickly spread across the country and then to Europe.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have launched an investigation into the breach.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said at a briefing on Friday that it was not yet clear who was behind the attack. The comment came in response to a question about whether the breach was part of “what seems to be an escalating cyber war with Russia.”

Earnest replied, “I know that the Department of Homeland Security … is monitoring this situation. And they’ll take a close look at it. But at this point, I don’t have any information to share about who may be responsible for that malicious activity.”

Users in some areas of Western Europe were unable to make payments on the PayPal site late Friday as well. There was no indication that Israel was affected by the cyber attack.

Hana Levi Julian

Pokemon Is No-Go In Gazan Hamas HQ

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The new virtual reality ‘Pokemon Go’ smartphone game is not only being carefully monitored by the Israeli military, but it’s now also being watched by the top echelons of the Hamas terrorist organization.

The internet in Gaza runs on 26 technology, as it does in many areas of the ancient city of Istanbul, for that matter. But it hasn’t stopped residents in the region from downloading the game and playing it, to the chagrin of the ruling Hamas terror group.

Due to the slow rate of the internet, it can be very expensive to run. However, that is not real issue.

The biggest problem with Pokemon Go in Gaza has to do with the same issues being faced by other players and governments elsewhere around the world: the boundaries being breached by the game and its players.

One Gazan player told the Associated Press he found himself unable to catch a fourth Pokemon he had had in his sights. The little creature was located on the premises of the Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council — a government building that is off-limits to everyone, including cute little Pokemon.

Hana Levi Julian

AFSI Urging Congressman’s Resignation over Calling Jews ‘Termites’

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The organization ‘Americans for a Safe Israel’ (AFSI) launched an internet campaign late Monday to demand the resignation of Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia.

Johnson is “an anti-Israel Congressman and a friend of such groups as Jewish Voices for Peace, and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, compared Jewish Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria to “termites” while speaking at an event sponsored by an anti-Israel organization that supports boycotts of Israel,” the group said.

In a petition circulated around the Internet, the group is urging surfers to contact Johnson to demand an apology and his resignation.

The group also urges readers to “express your outrage to the Democratic National Convention and demand they respond.”

Interested readers can contact the DNC by clicking here.

Hana Levi Julian

Major Internet Firms Join ADL, European Jewish Groups to Battle Hate Speech Online

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

European Jewish students are teaming with the New York-based Anti-Defamation League to expand the organization’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide for European Internet users.

The European Jewish Congress and European Union of Jewish Students will work together to help expand the guide, and develop translations in French and German.

The news follows an agreement between the European Commission and Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft on creation of a “Code of Conduct” addressing online hate speech.

ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement that the Code of Conduct “closely tracks ADL’s ‘Best Practices for Responding to Cyberhate” originally released in 2014.’”

The Cyber-Safety Action Guide includes tabs where visitors may access information on submitting complaints and reporting hate speech to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

It also provides quick links to each company’s cyber-bullying and harassment policies and terms of service, as well as links directly to online complaint forms. The guide is currently available in English and in Spanish.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel’s BIG Shopping Centers to Develop Online Mall for E-Shoppers

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The owners of the BIG Shopping Centers have seen the future and it is online, apparently – at least, according to corporate vice president Hay Galis.

“We intend to stand on the shoulders of giants and we believe in Israel we can be as strong as they are, as we offer a physical, financial and marketable platform that will be a significant player in e-commerce,” Galis told the Globes business news site.

BIG announced its new online shopping platform will be called BIG+ and will offer the various items available at its current malls. However, it will also offer international brands not currently sold to Israeli consumers.

The virtual mall expects to launch at the start of next year, and will make available a myriad selection of brands and retailers both from Israel and abroad.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israels-big-shopping-centers-to-develop-online-mall-for-e-shoppers/2016/05/19/

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