Israel Airport Wifi Blocks Political Sites

Israel's Airport Authority said on Thursday it is examining its wireless Internet service at Ben Gurion airport after learning it blocks access to a range of Israeli political websites.

The restrictions were first reported by Haaretz newspaper, which said the Wifi service was blocking access to sites run by leftist organizations such as Peace Now and Breaking the Silence, as well as right-wing groups like the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.

Wifi access at the airport is provided by 012, an Israeli Internet service provider.

Contacted by Agence France Presse, Israel Airports Authority confirmed access to some sites was being blocked by 012, but said it had not been aware of any such restrictions until Thursday.

"Following a query from Haaretz, we learned that there are limitations on viewing certain sites. We did not know about this problem nor did we receive any requests to look into this issue," the IAA said in a statement sent to AFP.

"Our inquiries show that 012 has put in place filtering tools... The IAA will examine the issue in depth and if necessary, will make the required changes."

012 was not immediately available to comment on the issue.

Haaretz said the filters blocked the websites of groups with both a left-wing and a right-wing agenda but did not appear to affect those of parties and other political organizations.

Public spaces that offer wireless Internet access often apply some filters to prevent users from viewing potentially offensive webpages.