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Protest and Disruption in the Digital Age


Alon Jasper

In the context of the ongoing protest against a perceived legal coup, disruptive actions have become a defining feature. These actions include physically blocking Ayalon routes, orchestrating business and labor organization shutdowns, and staging "disruption days" as performative acts to disrupt current activities. While these disruptions manifest in tangible ways, the digital realm presents additional avenues for disruption, such as interfering with traffic lights or disabling collaborative navigation apps. In line with global trends, the protest movement features significant digital components, but digital disruption remains on the periphery of its activities.
This digital dimension encounters a legal framework that traditionally prohibits disruption. Key provisions, like Section 2(1) of the Computer Law, 1995, impose severe penalties for those who disrupt computer operations or interfere with their use. Similar concepts underpin regulations that safeguard critical infrastructures from digital interference and disruption.
Nonetheless, the Israeli legal discourse regarding its role in digital civic engagement inadequately addresses digital disruption, especially at the intersection of digital and physical disruption. Consequently, drawing from the extensive literature on civil disobedience and digital activism, this research proposal aims to delineate the legal dimensions of digital disruption, explore the relationship between physical and digital disruption, and, based on these insights, formulate policy recommendations for managing civil digital disruption.

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