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Moral Imperative of Anti-Democratic Assault on Freedoms: Bill would List Porn Viewers

Although several recent legislative initiatives brought before Israel’s parliament (Knesset) that were criticized for being anti-democratic were in some way related to issues of national security, the latest attempt to curtail public access to information is a purely moral judgement by the government. At issue is a bill that would require Internet providers to block pornography sites and allow access only to those who formally request it, thus creating an actual list of the nation’s porn users. Despite the failure of several previous attempts to pass similar legislation, the current bill has wide support of the Netanyahu coalition government and counts opposition politicians among its sponsors. Surprising to some is the lack of outcry from those who are usually quick to protest what appear to be actions that abridge human rights such as the freedom to view pornography. A ministerial panel has now approved the bill opening the door to further advancement in the legislative process. Meanwhile, outside of the legislature, some groups argue that the bill is an anti-democratic exercise and invasion of privacy that would place Israel in the company of such states as China, Iran and Turkey.

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