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Israel Lifts ISP Ban On Gambling Sites

An Israeli court has reversed an order that previously demanded that the country's Internet Service Providers block websites that were allegedly involved in illegal online gambling activity.

Judge Michal Rubinstein ordered that the orders were unlawful during an appeal hearing by the Israeli Internet Association. The judge found that the action by the police agency effectively amounted to restricting freedom of speech, and that the order was unlawful.

Police intervention on the websites began in July of 2010, when punters were unable to access international internet casinos. The Israeli Police agency visited every ISP in the country to deliver the order, which included the names of the banned websites as well as the IP addresses that were to be blocked. The order states that the websites "provide a place for illegal gaming for lotteries or gambling, as defined in Section 224 of the Penal Code."

Central District Police Commander Maj. Gen. Bentzi Sau issued the order to block the websites, saying: "It is my intention to order your company not to provide users with access to these sites."

The move was met with controversy, as the ISPs argued that the banned websites can simply creating new websites. Additional arguments questioned whether the police even had the authority to impose such an order.

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