History of Establishment
Digital Rights Movement was founded in 2011 as a nonprofit for protecting a promoting the rights of the individual and community in the digital age.
The DRM has grown by engaging individuals who are passionate about the freedom of the Internet and allowing them challenge oppositions and build paths towards a greater and fairer cyberspace. The DRM works, much like the internet, without hierarchy but through a network of connected individuals.
The Internet is a brave new world and advancements in technology have brought significant improvements for humankind both on and offline. But, unfortunately these developments have created new and sometimes unexpected challenges. The majority of users is inexperienced and lack knowledge about key aspects of the internet; including their online rights, and subsequently, is easy to exploit and harm.
Just like users, authorities (including national government and supranational bodies) are also limited in their knowledge about the online world. Within these organizations there still disagreement over what their role should be and to what extent they should be involved. In additional business is starting to be involved, and becoming a powerful lobby on governments to ensure policy reflects what is best for business, rather than the individual.
A civil involvement and action organization, which excels at understanding and navigating the cyberspace is necessary. It must be powered by internet users who represent the wider internet user base, in order to ensure citizens’ rights are protected, their wishes represented, and to educate users to protect themselves.
– To protect the right to freedom of speech in cyberspace, while maintaining users rights to privacy, property and good name, and to guide through to the striking balance considering the special nature of the Internet.
– To protect users’ information rights in private and proprietary digital data, while ensuring a minimal impact on innovation and security.
– To protect users’ consumer and social rights to fairness of commerce and equality online.
– To work towards an open, equal and innovative internet, free of restrictions with the minimum required regulation.
– To monitor changes in legislation, practice and policy that affect the rights on the individual, institutions or communities.
– To use legal and public channels to public raise awareness about challenges to digital rights.
SLAPP Clinic (SLAPP – Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation, a SLAPP is a frivolous suit designed to discourage public participation by creating deterrence through legal costs and risks). SLAPP lawsuits often lose in court but they succeed in in limiting freedom of speech by censoring critics and creating legal costs. SLAPP lawsuits prevent democracy as they limit free speech and the debate of important issues.
– Raising public and court awareness to identified SLAPPs through public and legal action.
– Counter through encouraging public participation by mitigating the legal risks of SLAPPs by providing free legal aid to individuals and legal guides for attorneys of SLAPP defendants.
– Creating precedents that enable SLAPP defendants to efficiently and quickly dismiss SLAPPs by precisely defining a SLAPP and means of judicial oversight through legal action.
– Promoting research in SLAPP and defamation related litigation.
– To overall reduce the number of SLAPPs through deterrence.
The Israeli authorities are conducting a pilot for a new ‘smart IDs’ – IDs that are harder to forge – a system that includes a central biometric database, which poses a serious risk to Israeli citizens’ privacy in their biometric data. When it was introduced two years ago DRM worked hard to ensure the public and government were aware of the significant technological and ethical issues involved, as a result the project was introduced as a ‘pilot’ and the government advertising pulled.
– Improving public awareness about the existence and privacy risks of the Biometric Database.
– Conducting civil oversight on the execution of the pilot by means of data gathering through research, freedom of information and public involvement, expert analysis of gathered data and legal action when required.
– Advocating the Knesset to implement additional required privacy protections to the system, mainly by eliminating the central Biometric Database.
Special Committee in Knesset- the Israeli parliament
Governmental Committee for the examining the boundaries of free speech on the internet:
o Raising public awareness about the committee and the scope of its activities.
o Working to minimize the committee’s interference to free speech on the internet.
o Researching and educating Knesset members about a balanced legislation.
– Advocating against a central Credit Rating Database.
– Creating research papers and raising awareness and advocating Net Neutrality.
Organizational Impact and Achievements
– DRM’s work lead to the inclusion of Section 41 in the legislation regarding Israel’s Biometric database; requiring that the project be considered an experiment and should be re-legislated in two years.
– DRM’s challenged the government in the Supreme Court regarding the Biometric Database, this resulted in the government being required to include warnings in the campaign about personal data security on the pilot advertising campaigns. Campaign was dropped by the govt.
– Launched a DRM campaign against the Biometric campaign; raising public awareness about the personal security
– DRM campaign results show a drop in participation in the biometric pilot from 50% to 30% by the public, showing a lack of public support for the project.
– Defending 40 people in the SLAPP Clinic – successfully funded through crowd funding (60,000ILS) proving the public support for project and the need.