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What we're doing to protect your privacy: +972 and HTTPS

As part of our commitment to promoting freedom of information and fighting censorship, we recently added an important layer of encryption to our website. Here’s why we did it, and what it means for you.

Over the past year we at +972 Magazine have dedicated significant resources into expanding our journalistic focus on censorship, freedom of information, and online free speech issues in Israel and Palestine.

We have covered attempts to impose military censorship on Israeli bloggers and social media users, the expanding use of gag orders, we’ve exposed the previously unknown scope of censorship in Israel, the arbitrary detention of Palestinian journalists, the shuttering of Palestinian media outlets, and more.

You can find all of those articles on a newly launched special coverage page: “Censorship & Freedom of Information.”

We are also committed to practicing what we preach. Almost exactly a year ago we told you that the Israeli military censor was compelling us to submit a small number of articles for prior review before publication — and pledged to fight any attempts to censor our journalistic work. We also instituted a policy whereby we will tell you, our readers, each and every time we are compelled to submit an article to the censor.

Many other internal policies have been instituted to help protect the integrity of our journalistic work, and to protect ourselves against state surveillance, interference, and intervention of any kind.

In that spirit, we are excited to announce that +972 Magazine just became the first media organization in Israel to use HTTPS to deliver you our content. HTTPS is a much more secure version of HTTP, the protocol through which most web traffic is transmitted to your computer.

You may have noticed that when you visit +972 Magazine these days there is a green padlock icon in your web address bar. You may already look for that green icon when you make financial transactions online — it indicates that the connection between your browser and the web site is encrypted and secure. (For a more detailed explanation, see the video below)

Why is HTTPS important for a news site?

For starters, it ensures that the information you are reading has not been intercepted and changed. You can be sure that any contact info on our bloggers’ pages has not been tampered with — which is vital for things like verifying PGP encryption keys and making sure you’re communicating with the person you think you are.

Secondly, it helps protect your browsing data from prying eyes — something that can be vital for political activists and others who may be under government surveillance. If you are concerned about surveillance, visiting HTTPS sites is only one step, however. You can find lots of useful information and tools for online privacy and countering surveillance here.

The past few years have taught us more and more about how little privacy we actually enjoy online, and here in Israel/Palestine the authorities have long sought to control the flow of information. Freedom of information and countering attempts at censorship are values we will continue to fight for in our work — as journalists, activists and social-justice conscious human beings.

From everyone at +972 Magazine, we wish you a more just, uncensored, and surveillance-free 2017.

***

Here’s a short video explaining the importance of HTTPS:

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
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    COMMENTS

    1. Subhana

      Does 2-3 hours of technical work really deserve an article? And not even a word of thanks to the technical person that did the work. What is he/she your slave? And damn you people are paranoid.

      Reply to Comment
      • No, I don’t think paranoid. You’d be surprised how comments can induce surveillance. It’s not the one off comment, but persistent presence which flags.

        We live in a world where the distinction between words and material support of crime is weakening. There is some reason for it: aggravated speech can act as an engine to motivate others. But the writer is not responsible for the effect of his words in a micro sense; and, more importantly, any attempt to censor opinion will expand the range of dangerous thought needing suppression. One moves into thought policing as natural good. A new form of blasphemy arises, blasphemy against security. And surveillance can become social punishment: fear of labeling at work, loss of friends, or suspicious treatment without cause for such.

        As for publishing the name of security technicians–such a person has taken a job at a legal operation. Why should they be targeted as, well, blasphemous by having their name exposed? Why not publish the name of a latte server of Omer-Man? Is it not wrong to give refreshment to such a person? And, otherwise, what possible reason could you have for wanting to know their names?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        I agree with Greg. In an article about privacy, Subhana wants names! Nice example of the same breezy occupier’s arrogance, lack of empathy, casual contempt. More of the same. “Mountainous nations build tunnels. What’s the big deal? Contiguity? Let them build tunnels. And eat cake.” The Israelis have got quite used to this and it will be hard to give it up—they won’t of course give it up willingly.

        And this lecture on “paranoia” from the same guy who’s anxious to tell us how very, very sinister and dangerous those NGOs are and how dare they butt into “internal” Israeli occupation affairs on non-Israeli territory, all sorts of hidden things you can’t be too vigilant about, can’t be too careful there, they’re out to get us! 

        And the bit about “thanking technical people, are they your slave?” – this from the same guy who can’t be more dismissive and disdainful of the PA security contractor slaves that perform on his behalf to sustain his occupation. Oh, but wait, I forgot, they’re not Jews. What was I thinking? 

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “lack of empathy, casual contempt”

          Talking about the pot who called the kettle black.

          Unlike Subhana, you, Ben, are full of empathy and you have no contempt?

          Your above post, speaks for itself Benny.

          Reply to Comment
    2. carmen

      Thank you.

      Reply to Comment

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