Israeli Companies Violate Privacy Through Fake Social Media Accounts

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Skyline International condemned on Friday, May 17 2019, the violation of Israeli companies that created fake accounts on social media to influence the election in a number of countries in North Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“Israeli companies are offering their services to those who pay more, by penetrating and spying on dissidents, or by creating fake accounts to influence the domestic policies of certain countries” the organization’s secretary general Muath Hamed said.

Hamed added that the statement published by Facebook is a clear and explicit indictment against Israel; by deleting 265 accounts, pages, groups and related events on Facebook and Instagram for false behavior targeting users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

He stressed that the Israeli behavior, both in manufacturing spyware and penetration, or the establishment of fake accounts, which focuses its activities on social media as an influential tool in the making of public opinion in countries, is a violation of the most basic international laws in force.

Hamed demanded that Facebook submit legal proceedings against Israeli companies, especially since there are well-known sources, headquarters and names, not just random accusations.

He also noted the seriousness of Israeli attempts to influence the policies of other countries, through social media, and the construction of false accounts, which provide false news to different users.

He also pointed out that the actions of Israeli companies are contrary to Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states in its Articles 1 and 2 that: “No one shall be subjected, arbitrarily or illegally, to interference in his privacy, family, home or correspondence or any illicit campaigns affecting his reputation, and the right of everyone to be protected by the law from such interference or prejudice”.

Hamed also said that fake accounts spread hate speech and racism among people, which could also be in violation of Article 20 of the ICCPR, where “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is prohibited by law”.

Concluding the statement, the organization called on social media users to carefully deal with fake accounts, which have unknown source. It also called on them not to deal with the automatically published links, or to open them without confirming their source in order to avoid any penetration and spying that they may be exposed to.

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