The Ministry of Public Security conducted a regional day of seminars entitled- Communal Treatment of the Internet Social Networks. The seminars were held for 160 Crime prevention Community coordinators, working as part of the Metzilah Society and Crime Prevention division, the Anti Drugs and Alcohol authority and the "City without Violence" program. A similar day of seminars is scheduled to take place in the central and northern regions and among coordinators from non-Jewish communities.
This project is the outcome of cooperation between the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Education and the Israeli Internet Association. The day of seminars was also attended by a police representative, a lawyer on behalf of public defense, and the CEO of the Sensagon firm- a company specializing in detecting dangerous behaviors on-line and improving their detection methods.
This day of seminars is the first step of the program currently being formed at the Ministry of Public Security, which is centered around the issue of the users' personal safety, as part of the efforts to minimize the users' exposure to violence on line and its various expressions. This day is meant to expose the coordinators to the various facets of the issue, so that they become familiar with the means, available to them, of promoting the issue of: Ethics and Internet Safety on the Community Level.
The seminar opened with sessions from the Information and Marketing Coordinator of the Metzilah division, Mrs. Iris Arbel-Gantz, and the Coordinator of the "City without Violence" program, Mrs. Yifat Banner- Shelly; who provided the participants with a review of the Ministry of Public Security's planned activity in the field of crime prevention and the increase of personal safety for internet users. They also stressed the significance of this issue and its influence on the work of the coordinators in the communities. Finally, they went on to emphasize that this is a newly developing arena, which even though is virtual, contains violence and risks just as much as a physical arena would.
Throughout the day, Mrs. Tsvia Algeli, who is a Digital Culture specialist and the Internet Association counselor, presented a review of the culture of internet use and how it is expressed through the "internet language"- A language that stresses the existing gaps between the kids, who are the "digital natives" and their parents who are considered to be "digital immigrants". Such gaps create problems in the construction of an educational parental authority for the children, which is similar to the parental authority issues arising in immigrant families; issues which eventually cause the parents to succumb to the "internet environment" and give up on supervising their children.
Mrs. Limor Harari, the Ministry of Education's representative on the issue of Ethics and Internet Safety, provided the participants with a review of the new initiatives as well as the challenges facing educators within the education system as a result of students using social networks.
In addition, Harari introduced the Ministry of Education's program on the issue of Ethics and Internet Safety to the students, the teachers and other staff members. As part of this project, as of next year the principal of every educational institutionwill establish a team called "Living On-Line". The team will strive to promote awareness of the various characteristics of the virtual world and their influence on students of various ages; it will also promote proper and safe behavior on-line, instill appropriate values and behavioral norms on line, and integrate the issue within the curriculum of the schools. The team will include the following: A social coordinator; teleprocessing coordinator; an educational counselor, and a teacher that would lead the team. A consultation with the school's psychologist would also be held according to necessity, both for planning interventions and for coping with unusual situations.
Throughout the day, short films were screened to demonstrate the issue, various sites and chat rooms were presented, and the questions of violence were raised; mainly such questions as: to what extent? The Dos and Don'ts; questions of legislation; true and false.
The CEO of the Sensagon firm, Mr. Omer Efrat, presented a review of the dangers embedded within the way that children use the social networks and the possible dangers of uploading personal information or an e-mail address. He then informed the participants of various other facts and technological innovations that the general public is unaware of.
The issue of what is legal and what is illegal was discussed by three representatives: The head of the Israel Police's Internet and Information division, Chief Superintendent Meir Zohar; the representative of the Public Defense's National Juvenile Department, Lawyer Netta Pat; and the representatives of the Public Defense's Southern Region, Lawyer Victoria Avkin. Each representative presented his or her own work in the field of offenses committed during or as a result of on-line surfing, and explained its legal and operational complexity.
Throughout the day, the participants were divided into groups in which they discussed complex test cases, and considered ways of both solving the cases and preventing them from recurring on all levels- including the school level, the community level or the entire social level.
Mrs. Nava Gil'ad who is a leading authority in the field of and the Digital Culture and "Digital Residency", summed up the day of seminars by presenting the participants with a potential guideline for a systematic, community based program for securing safe internet use. Furthermore, she also stressed the importance of beginning this activity before the start of the summer holiday- a period during which children spend long hours sitting in front of the computer. She went on to emphasize the importance of an information distribution campaign in all the communities that would support safe internet surfing and diminish the digital gaps between the generations with the help of workshops.
The Internet Association- A summary of Characterization and Work
The Israeli Internet Association was founded in 1994 as an independent authority, working towards the promotion of the internet and its establishment in Israel as a technological, scientific, educational, social and business infrastructure. The association established as its main goal, the promotion of "digital residency" for the proper use of the internet, and has established a forum for safe internet surfing for children, teens, parents and educators called "Smarter than the Internet" . As part of the association's struggle for safer internet use, a hot line (03-9700911) is currently open to the public to provide solutions to all issues regarding internet offenses.
The Ministry of Education- A summary of Characterization and Work
Ethics and on-line safety are the responsibility of the Science and Technology Directorate Division within the Ministry of Education. The directorate has spearheaded a program of adapting the education system to the 21st century. The aim of the program is to bring about the foundation of an innovative pedagogy that would be accepted in all schools, while at the same time infusing the ICT information technology in its entirety into the classrooms, including the issue of on-line ethics and safety