Websites sued for slander or intellectual property violations because of
talkbacks – online comments – will be required to reveal the identity of the
offending author, according to a government bill that passed its first Knesset
reading on Wednesday.
Nine voted in favor of the “Talkbacker Bill,” and
The bill allows citizens to petition Magistrates’ Courts to
instruct a site owner to give information about a third party who anonymously
posted harmful content online.
The explanatory section of the bill,
proposed by the Justice Ministry, points out that “one of the characteristics of
the Internet is the possibility to express oneself anonymously – which has
advantages and disadvantages.”
On the one hand, the bill explains,
anonymous posting is backed by the right to free speech and the right to
However, the Internet cannot be an arena where people are free
to do injustices or violate others’ rights without any accounting, the
The bill was authorized by the Ministerial
Committee for Legislation in late June, and will have to undergo review by the
Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee as well as its second and third
plenum readings before becoming law.
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