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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

Haifux Club: Israeli Digital Rights NPO
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Zvi Devir (
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Monday, 29.10.2012, 18:30
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Taub 6
The Digital Rights Movement stands between advanced technology and people rights (in the broad sense). Technological advance provides us with new products and new means of interacting with our surrounding. It provides a customer more flexibility and new ways of using a given product. However, it can be used to control and limit the usability of the product. For example, a customer buys a product, a certain book. Does it matters if the product is a digital book or an old-fashioned printed book? The customer should have the same usability rights ג€“ to read the book, the right to read in private, without anyone knowing when and where it was read, to quote a few lines from the book, to lend it to a friend, and to sell the book to someone else. However, technological measures can curb, if not to render useless, some of those rights.

The Digital Rights Movement (DRM) was registered in 2010. It follows the steps of the Electrical Frontier Foundation (EFF), which was founded in 1993, and is the model of most digital rights organizations in the western world. The main goal of the DRM is to protect people rights when are endangered or threatened by technology measures. Consumer rights are only one front. Privacy is another. Freedom of expression is a third. And there are many more.

Initial thought about establishing the DRM started during the struggle against the biometric database law in 2009. We came to a conclusion that there is no NPO in Israel which exclusively focuses on these areas. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is addressing violations of citizen rights of all types. The Israel Consumer Council handles only direct violation of customers rights. Other organizations (Hamakor, ISOC, Wikimedia IL) address specific aspects of the digital world. The DRM has only recently started to operate. It sends official stand letters to the Knesset and different ministries, its members are participating in Knesset committees. Recently, the DRM (with ACRI) had a successful high court petition against the biometric database law, which forced the state to recheck the necessity of a national-wide biometric database for the issuance of smart identity cards.

Further information on the DRM can be found in its website: