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Today, in the security world, the place of internet and especially handling cyber threats over the internet – is crucial, not less than physical security and even more, because of the “safe” way (for the penetrator) to get in and make damage / get information.

Israeli Internet Association is celebrating 20 years of commercial internet in Israel

  • Facebook is the third largest country in the world today
  • Until 2014 there will be more mobile subscribers than people on Earth
  • In 2015 the Arabic language will be the fourth most “spoken” language in the internet

The Israeli Internet Association (ISOC) is celebrating today twenty years of commercial Internet in Israel.  As a part of the celebrations, the ISOC  held a special conference with Internet industry executives, high-tech, media and academia experts. At the opening panel senior researchers presented the international evolution of the Internet in the last twenty years and disclosed new data and research results on Internet consumption habits in Israel, the Middle East and the world.

During the opening panel, Lee Rainie, the director of PEW Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, introduced details concerning the biggest revolutions in internet-web development.  “The first revolution,” stated Rainie, “is broadband, 85% of the adult population and 95% of young people surf the Internet in the United States. The second revolution is the mobile revolution, where the number of mobile devices in use in the USA is greater than its entire population. Until 2014 there will be more mobile subscribers than people on Earth.” “The third revolution,” added Rainie, “involves social networking, when 59% of American adults surf social networks, and Facebook is the third largest country in the world today, with over one billion people living in Facebook.”

Dr. Tal Pavel, the CEO of Middleeasternet, presented information on the development and evolution of the internet in the Middle East. Dr. Pavel explained, “The Middle East is characterized by a very strong dependence on its internet officials. The rate of Internet penetration in the Middle East is 37 percent. The leading countries are the members of the Gulf States, whereas Saudi Arabia and Syria are the last ones, since the penetration of the internet was permitted only after the regimes verified they have enough technological aids to enable them to limit the free use of the Internet.”

Dr. Pavel presented statistics regarding the penetration rate for some Middle Eastern Countries and cited examples. “In Iran there is a 53 percent penetration rate, Egypt has a 35.6 percent rate and the United Arab Emirates stands on a 71 percent of penetration rate.”  According to Dr. Pavel, “the penetration rate of the Arabic language into the internet is expected to grow by 2500%. In 2015 the Arabic language will be the fourth most ‘spoken’ language in the internet.”

In concluding his remarks, Dr. Pavel explained, “The characteristics of the use of the internet in the Middle East are different since there is a very restrictive legislation against the Internet as well as enforcement, such as the Cyber Police unit in Iran.”

Avraham Burg By Yonni Malka
Avraham Burg
By Yonni Malka

The Chairman of Internet Society Conference, Abraham Burg said, “I am delighted to be exposed to all the initiatives of the ISOC and am amazed at what has happened in the Internet in recent years. The network does not only belong to young people, the Internet is the greatest engine of society. The internet revolution is in the magnitude of the print revolution, the Internet can raise leaders, change regimes and effect the prices of merchandise through social protest.” “The internet,” Mr. Burg added, “is now used both for lowering prices and for overthrowing dictators and tyrant regimes.”

Dr. Alon Hasegal, from the Center for Academic Studies and who serves as the President of the Internet Society, reviewed the last twenty years of commercial Internet in Israel: “Twenty years of commercial internet in Israel is an important milestone, and the Association has decided to take up the challenges of the future. In 2012 and 2013 major developments affecting the freedom of information on the Internet were introduced as states and governments realized the power of the internet.  We now see attempts of those countries in trying to control the freedom and neutrality of the network. We at the Internet Association see ourselves as the checks and balances of the freedom of information in the network, and together with governmental and commercial entities we will act to protect those balances.”

Lynn St. Amour, the International Internet Society CEO, stated at the conclusion of the conference, “I welcome the Israel Internet Association who celebrates 20 years of the commercial Internet in Israel. It is important for us to continue to invest in infrastructure and open source to allow access to the Internet all over the world.” ”We are facing a number of challenges,” she added, “the first is to reach 5 billion people who have not yet accessed the Internet. Another challenge is the number of people and organizations with multiple interests that are trying to influence and control the freedom of information on the Internet. The Israeli Association has succeeded in maintaining balance and promoting legislation that allows the free network.”

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