Israel MK seeks online gambling censorship


Knesset member Amnon Cohen, of the Orthodox Shas party, presented a bill this week in Israel that would block gambling, sex and violence-oriented Web sites in Israel.

The bill, which was passed in its first reading Wednesday, would automatically block online casinos, online poker sites, online porn sites and more unless customers specifically ask to be allowed to visit those sites.

It will now be sent to the Economic Affairs Committee before returning to the Knesset plenum for second and third readings.

According to, to implement the censorship, Internet service providers would be required to include filtering software for all new clients. That same software must also be offered free of charge to all clients and service providers may impose the filtering system on all clients.

Clients who don't want the filtering system will have to verify that they are of majority age and submit a personal request to disable the system.

Cohen initiated the bill, claiming that it will protect the 60% of Israeli children who come into contact with these sites.

He said in the article that he doesn't think the legislation is the most appropriate tool to achieve his goal, but stagnating efforts to reach a settlement with the country's ISPs over the past three years have left him with no other choice.

According to a article, the Economic Affairs Committee legal adviser said he would find it difficult to defend the bill in the High Court of Justice in light of the refusal of Communications Minister Ariel Atias to provide a list of sites to be blocked for the committee's approval.

Meanwhile, the Economic Affairs Committee has already rejected a bill submitted Tuesday by MK Alex Miller which would have forced ISPs to provide customers with a pamphlet instructing users on how to block Web sites.

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