In this Saturday Feb. 9, 2013 photo, Israeli security detain The Associated Press photographer Nasser Shiyoukhi during a Palestinian protest in Yatta, West Bank (AP Photo)
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military censor, which has long served as the country’s guardian of state secrets, is suddenly under the microscope following a pair of sensitive reports broken by the international media.
An Australian broadcaster’s story this week about the suspicious death of an Australian-Israeli prisoner held by Israel, following foreign reports of an Israeli airstrike in Syria last month, have revealed the limits of Israel’s decades-long censorship rules and court-imposed gag orders. In today’s Internet age, many are now asking whether these restrictions are even relevant.
The idea behind the objections is that in today’s communications environment, when everybody is essentially a publisher with a potentially worldwide audience, to censor “the media” is somehow akin to censoring conversation itself, which Israel, as a democracy, would never conceive of doing.
“(Gag orders) are a tool that can’t deal with the media reality we live in: a globalized, hyper-connected, hyper-fast world. There is no real way to control the spread of information,” said Yuval Dror, an expert in digital communications.