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The National Digital Program of the Government of Israel

Promote an Enabling Digital Activity Environment

Alongside development of physical infrastructures, the importance of establishing a “soft” support infrastructure must be realized in order to maintain an enabling digital activity environment.

This infrastructure refers to the appropriate legal and regulatory environment, to the degree of freedom and security in using the Internet freely and to protecting the ownership rights, privacy and security of various entities (users, content suppliers, etc.) with presence on digital platforms. 

Free flow of information between government offices, and between them and the public, is a necessary condition for ensuring innovation, the supply of quality services to citizens and streamlining government work. This refers to all information except for types of sensitive information that call for special treatment as specified in laws, including personal data mentioned above. Therefore, the Government ICT Authority will advance formulation of government policy that will ensure the free flow of public information - of course making sure to protect the privacy of citizens’ personal information. Second, the adoption of accepted international principles regarding public information held by government agencies will be promoted, among them: (1) government data must be machine readable; (2) government data will be accessible and available in an open format and license; and (3) providing formal authorization to government agencies to contract with non-government organizations[i] in the aim of leveraging accessible government data for innovation opportunities in the public and private sectors. As the basis for these actions, an organizational culture that views data as a strategic asset and acts to enhance and manage it as such will be fostered. Alongside the activities of the National Initiative, the National Cyber Bureau heads efforts to strengthen the national cybernetic space and improve its ability to deal with cyber threats.

[i] This refers to individuals, non-governmental organizations, universities, public and private companies, etc.

Adapting Regulation

The Bureau is also taking steps to implement the section in government Resolution No. 1046 regarding the adaption of the legal infrastructure to the digital age. This will be carried out by the “Law and Technology” team established by a representative of the Chief Legal Counsel in order to adapt the legal infrastructure to the digital age[59].

Legislation must be adapted as a necessary condition for encouraging innovation and creating public value based on databases, and with respect to international aspects that require easing conditions for doing business in Israel[58].

To this end, a process for mapping out the main laws and regulations which hamper the integration of ICT into government has been undertaken. Legislation that must be reviewed, for example, includes evidence law, particularly the demand to provide original documents. 

Concurrently, “the National Policy for Secure Identification” was formulated by an inter-ministerial team headed by the individual in charge of biometric applications in the National Cyber Bureau,  to enable implementation of digital measures regarding the interface between individuals and government offices. Technological infrastructures will also be developed by the Government ICT Authority, for secure sharing of personal data between government offices that will enable individuals to identify themselves conveniently, securely and in a unified manner, as much as possible, when interfacing with government offices without endangering the required protection level, and will support the expansion of online government services offered to the public[59].

The series of steps to promote an enabling digital activity environment touch upon the digital life of every citizen, and must therefore be advanced in cooperation with the public and with its support. Thus, this process will be carried out together with the public in defining the goals, characterizing the course of action and determining the means. These measures will create an activity environment that increases public trust in government, enables and promotes innovative digital activity in the country in general and in government in particular, and contributes to accelerated economic growth.

A Government Team to Adapt the Legislative Infrastructure to the Digital Age – “Law and Technology Team”

The team, headed by a representative of the Chief Legal Counsel to the Government, will lead a comprehensive cross-government undertaking to examine adaptation of the legal infrastructure to the digital age in order to facilitate advancement of the National Initiative. The team’s work can help create a government environment that promotes the development and adoption of innovative digital solutions in the government and in Israel at large.

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