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[liberationtech] Computer seizure in the West Bank

Mallory Knodel mallory at
Tue May 8 08:44:54 PDT 2012


It's actually a very good point you're making. I hope that one outcome 
of a civil society response to this incident is that pressure can also 
be placed on the PA and Hamas to stop infringing upon online speech of 
organizations under their jurisdiction in similar ways.

Of course the point of this post and this article is to highlight a 
specific incident in which neither the PA or Hamas are implicated.


On 05/08/2012 11:09 AM, Jonathan Ezor wrote:
> The one-sided, incendiary and inaccurate terminology of the blog 
> posting quoted by Mallory Knodel creates the impression that, were it 
> not for the actions of the overbearing Israelis, Palestinians would 
> otherwise enjoy full computer and Internet freedom. Of course, this is 
> far from the truth. Rather, as reported by many including Thomas 
> Friedman in his 7 May 2012 New York Times editorial 
> (, 
> it is the Palestinian Authority which has suppressed online speech, 
> arrested bloggers and journalists for governmental criticism, and 
> sought to block entire Web sites, only to be foiled in the last effort 
> because (as Friedman says the now-resigned Palestinian Authority 
> communications minister Mashour Abudaka stated) "with Israeli Internet 
> providers covering much of the West Bank, it is impossible to block 
> any site completely, 'so why give us the image of a dictatorship?'" 
> That is, Palestinians must utilize Israeli ISPs because they, unlike 
> their Palestinian counterparts, are not being blocked in the name of 
> suppression.
> It is incumbent upon all of us that, before we accept any side's 
> version of events such as the alleged seizure of the BlockTheWall 
> computers reported in this blog, we seek out additional, empirical 
> sources to get a full (or at least better) understanding of what 
> happened. This is as true today as it was for the various actions 
> chronicled by Bruce Sterling in The Hacker Crackdown decades ago, and 
> those who are subject to governmental action may be just as likely to 
> skew reporting for their own purposes as governments themselves. 
> {Jonathan}
> -------------------
> Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
> Assistant Professor of Law
> Director, Institute for Business, Law and Technology (IBLT)
> Touro Law Center
> 225 Eastview Drive, Central Islip, NY  11722
> Direct: 631-761-7119
> e-mail: jezor at <mailto:jezor at>; PGP key 0xFBA73A9E
> Skype: jonathanezor     Twitter: profjonathan
> *From:*liberationtech-bounces at 
> [mailto:liberationtech-bounces at] *On Behalf Of 
> *Mallory Knodel
> *Sent:* Tuesday, May 08, 2012 10:46 AM
> *To:* Liberation Technologies
> *Subject:* [liberationtech] Computer seizure in the West Bank
> I believe these actions, such as those by the FBI on the May First and 
> Riseup server, are indicative of the power of online networks for 
> social change. The two situations are quite different in that 
> escalation of this attack on Palestinian civil society is a very real 
> possibility without some international outcry. Some are suspecting 
> that this is related to the current hunger strike of thousands of 
> Palestinian prisoners.
> <snip>
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Mallory Knodel
Communications Manager :: mallory at <>
Association for Progressive Communications :: <>
skype/yahoo. malloryknodel :: mobile. +1917.796.6884
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