Israel Safer Internet Day Committee - Israeli Child Online Protection Bureau
About our SID activities
This year Israel will mark its 14th national Safer Internet Week. The week revolves around Safer Internet Day (SID) and is the culmination of year-long activities that promote the safe, respective and responsible use of the internet. This year's theme is Share with Care – think before you take pictures and before sharing pictures with others.
We live, breathe and dream in visual. Smartphones are equipped with a camera that gets more sophisticated each day; pictures can be sent via chat apps at the push of a button; and social media has an insatiable appetite. The central role that pictures and videos play in our lives and their dynamic nature sometimes allow us to forget that a picture is still worth a thousand words and that the repercussions can turn out to be harsher than one can bear.
Sharing pictures and videos is an expression of our natural need to belong and to be seen, which encourages our desire to accumulate likes and followers. Such behavior is liable to lead to hazardous situations and to bullying. It is therefore easy to see that the theme this year relates to various areas of life – prevention of cyberbullying, including sexual abuse and the protection of privacy and of one's "digital image," as well as the criminal aspect, which children and parents are not sufficiently aware of. This year we are putting an end to cyberbullying involving pictures and videos.
During the week, varied activities will be held across the country focusing on the issues of taking pictures and sharing and distributing pictures and videos – activities that recognise the natural need of children and young people to belong and to be seen, while raising awareness to hazardous scenarios that could arise when such actions are performed without any forethought.
Children and young people will be invited to examine their picture taking and sharing habits, the troubling implications of distribution when no discretion is exercised, the role pictures and videos play in building a digital image, and the legal restrictions that apply to picture taking and the sharing and distribution of content. At the same time, they will learn about the positive aspects of picture taking as a tool for self-expression, and sharing as an act of friendship that brings people closer together.
Many activities will also be held for parents and the community, aimed at promoting parental engagement in the online life of their children and encouraging an open dialogue between parents and their children.
The Child Online Protection Bureau and its partner ministries will be offering a variety of events and activities throughout the week:
- Live Facebook chat with the Bureau's experts.
- Joint activities with YouTubers and Instagramers.
- Interactive online sessions in schools.
- Online panels, in collaboration with universities and colleges.
- Lectures held by Bureau experts.
What we are doing to support the SID 2020 slogan of "Together for a better internet"…
The government of Israel is dedicated to eradicating online crime and violence against minors. To this end, the government established the Child Online Protection Bureau to be a national unifying authority with one mission – keeping Israel's children safe online. Pursuant to this mission, we invest great efforts in educating the public about the importance of social unity online – standing by our friends when they are hurt and need help and support.
This year, for the first time since its inception, the bureau will be leading the Israeli national Safer Internet Week. The Bureau itself is a partnership of six bodies of government, and for the Safer Internet Week many more ministries and departments, as well as local authorities and municipalities, tech companies and NGOs will join us. Together we will call upon all citizens of Israel to take part in a national effort to make the internet safe for everyone.
The Israeli Child Online Protection Bureau was launched in November 2018. The bureau strives to improve law enforcement and reduce crime and violence aimed at children on the internet and social media, with the goal of promoting a strategic change in Israel, creating a safer cyberspace and enhancing the public's sense of security on the internet.
The bureau is a joint civilian-police authority, combining legal enforcement with education and treatment to ensure the safety of those surfing the internet, first and foremost children. The bureau has partners in the Ministry of Public Security, the Israel Police, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, and the Ministry of Justice, all working together to create a safer online environment for children and adolescents.
The bureau comprises of two units:
- A specialised police unit dedicated to investigating online crimes against minors. An integral part of the unit is the national 105 hotline that receives and coordinates all incident reports regarding cybercrime against children, including acts of shaming and online bullying. Here, police officers and civilians from our partner ministries work side by side to ensure that each report, and the child at its centre, will receive a comprehensive, all-encompassing response that includes law enforcement, when necessary, and social, psychological and medical care.
- A professional staff that produces, among other things, educational materials to raise awareness about the safe and respectful use of the internet, and provide children, parents, teachers and other caregivers with tools for creating a better internet experience for themselves and others.