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Israel firm to verify Twitter users

August 21, 2023 at 2:24 pm

In this photo illustration, the logos of various social media apps including ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) are displayed on a phone screen in front of a screen displaying the logo of ‘X’ in Ankara, Turkiye on July 30, 2023 [Aytuğ Can Sencar – Anadolu Agency]

X, formerly known as Twitter, will use an Israel-based tech firm as part of the verification process for new users, according to a report by PC Magazine.

Users will be required to upload a photo of their ID and take a selfie to become verified, with the data being processed by Israel-based third-party identity intelligence company Au10tix.

The platform will store the images of the user’s ID and their biometric data for 30 days, claiming to use the information “for the purposes of safety and security, including preventing impersonation.”

This comes in addition to the monthly subscription fee which was imposed on verified users last year.

Users have expressed discontent at the news, including threatening to deactivate their accounts after noting Israel’s use of surveillance technologies to exploit and abuse the Palestinians.

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Following research conducted earlier this year across the occupied West Bank cities of Hebron and East Jerusalem, Amnesty found the military utilising a camera system called Red Wolf, which is deploying at checkpoints as part of a programme that “relies on databases consisting exclusively of Palestinian individuals’ data.”

The report, titled Automated Apartheid, “shows how this surveillance is part of a deliberate attempt by Israeli authorities to create a hostile and coercive environment for Palestinians,” the rights organisation explained.

Moreover, this news comes after the Israeli occupation forces were found to have installed an AI-controlled machine gun at a checkpoint in Hebron to track and shoot at Palestinians. Manufactured by Israeli company Smart Shooter, the gun fires stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets, and is also capable of firing tear gas.

Palestinians in Hebron are harassed daily by illegal settlers and occupation soldiers who aim to force them out of their homes in order to establish illegal Jew-only settlements in the area.

Amnesty called on the international community to regulate companies so that they are prohibited from providing surveillance technologies to Israel and to impose a global ban on weapon sales and military equipment to Israel. “Israeli authorities are using facial recognition technology to entrench apartheid,” it stressed.

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