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2022 Annual ISOC-IL Report

Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL) publishes 2022 Annual Transparency Report, offering an extensive, in-depth overview of its activities and operations.

The report was distributed to ISOC-IL members at their annual general meeting in 2023. It is also available to the public online (in Hebrew).

Summary of the 2022 Annual Report

2022 was a busy and even historic year for the Israel Internet Association. Over the last few years, we have been working to establish a new Israeli country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Hebrew-language domain names (“ישראל.”). The end of 2022 marked the conclusion of the final and central phase of the process—the opening of the new country extension to the public. This implemented the decision of the ICANN Board and the recommendation of IANA to appoint the Israel Internet Association as the managing authority for ”ישראל.” and added an important new role for ISOC-IL, alongside its management of the existing “.IL” ccTLD since the 1990s.

The opening of the new ccTLD was preceded by a pre-registration (sunrise) period, a practice commonly accepted throughout the world. The purpose of the sunrise period was to allow Israeli registered holders of a text-based trademark (such as companies, statutory corporations, organizations and political parties) to secure the right to register a domain name in Hebrew that would match their name or registered trademark symbol.

Registration of domain names in the new ccTLD opened to the general public on November 22, 2022, and built upon insights gleaned from public feedback collected over the course of a year. Within 24 hours of launching, approximately 10,000(!) domain names were registered in Hebrew under the new domain extension. By the end of 2022, this number doubled to approximately 20,000 registered domain names.

Other technological advancements over the course of 2022:

  • We  upgraded our ccTLD management software to a new version that now operates synchronously, automatically, and immediately, changing the way in which domain names are assigned by ISOC-IL. This version provides faster service to registrars and to the general public. The new system was put into operation smoothly and without complications.
  • We continued to develop ISOC-IL’s big data capabilities. Based on the needs assessment for data storage and analysis tools within the organization, the framework for a service contract was agreed upon and a provider was selected to implement a new data and BI infrastructure, set to be completed by the end of 2023.
  • We continued to reevaluate the operation of the Israel Internet Exchange (IIX) (which has remained essentially unchanged since its establishment in 1996) in light of recent regulatory changes by the Ministry of Communications,, the entrance of global cloud service providers following the government’s “Nimbus” tender, and the advent of new, innovative services into the internet communications market. This process is being approached with measured steps given the importance and sensitivity of the exchange’s operations.

ISOC-IL Public Policy and Research Activity During 2022

In keeping with our mission to safeguard and advocate for the rights and interests of Israel’s internet users, another of ISOC-IL’s focus areas in 2022 was internet-related public policy and research. We initiated and conducted research on technological, legal, social, educational and societal issues related to the digital lives of Israelis, and continued to maintain the database, a comprehensive source of data and advanced data analysis tools that aims to provide knowledge and research on which to base formulation of public policy.

In 2022, we released in-depth policy reports that offered recommendations and insights aimed at policy makers, legislators, judges and governmental entities:

Internet of Things (IoT) in Israel: Benefits, Challenges and Policy Recommendations:  Examines the advantages, barriers and risks involved in adopting IoT technologies in the Israeli economy and society. It provides policy recommendations for infrastructural and regulatory changes that must be made to prepare the country for this advancement.

Forensic Technologies used by Israeli Law Enforcement for Digital Penetration and Searches in Smartphones and Their Cloud Data: Research report that highlights key facts and figures on the use of forensic technologies by law enforcement authorities and outlines the current legal framework thereof. The report calls for policy change to ensure the protection of citizens’ rights in the face of the unprecedented access to private information enabled by these technologies (The report).

In addition, ISOC-IL regularly responds to relevant hearing and consultation requests from governmental and regulatory bodies in Israel, including the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the Science and Technology Committee, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Justice, the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority, the National Cyber Directorate, the Israel Police, the State Comptroller’s Office, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and others.

We continued to establish various professional relationships and collaborations with the aforementioned government bodies, civil society organizations (such as the Association for Civil Rights, the Israel Democracy Institute, and Privacy Israel) and diverse research institutions (including the Law, Information Science and Digital Ethics Laboratory at Bar Ilan University, the Cyber, Law and Policy Research Center at the University of Haifa, the Communications Department at Tel Aviv University, the Institute for National Security Studies, and more).

Protecting and Empowering Users and the Public

During 2022, ISOC-IL expanded its social and public efforts to promote online personal protection, working at full throttle to offer guidance and tools to the general public in the face of an upsurge in threats and attacks. Our Internet Safety Hotline is a first responder to approximately 300 monthly requests for assistance, and is recognized as a Trusted Partner by most of the major social media platforms, allowing it to aid victims in reporting cases of online abuse  and real life harm directly and more effectively. Based on testimonies collected by the Hotline over the course of 2022, we published an in-depth report (in Hebrew and English) indicting Meta’s systematic failure to provide first aid and customer service to business owners experiencing cyber attacks on its platforms. Over the course of 2022 we also promoted digital rights and net accessibility through our Arab digital experts forum and our annual report on Arabic-language accessibility of online governmental information and services.

In 2022, ISOC-IL continued deepening Israeli public knowledge and literacy on internet-related issues, opportunities and challenges. One of its projects in this area was the “Nekuda IL” (“Dot IL”) podcast, which produced seven thought-provoking episodes on various topics with leading experts and scholars over the course of the year.

And in closing, throughout 2022 ISOC-IL  continued to monitor relevant global developments and to represent the Israeli internet community in international forums and organizations such as RIPE-NCC, ccNSO, ICANN, ISOC, and CENTR. ISOC-IL even received special recognition from the global Internet Society (ISOC) with a Gigabit rating, the highest rating awarded by ISOC to its branches worldwide, reflecting extensive and effective activity.

To learn more, we invite you to explore the full report (Hebrew)!