TechNation / Facebook Faces Knesset Committee Questioning Over Damaging Posts

Orange S.A. CEO gets death threats following flap over Partner Communications; AVG Technologies to open Israeli R&D center, to employ over 120; Red Gold begins commercial production of algae by-product.

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Facebook Credit: AFP

In response to the suggestion by Knesset Science and Technology committee chairman Uri Maklev that Facebook establish an Israeli office to handle complaints from people who claimed to have been hurt by the content on Facebook posts, a representative from the social media website said such matters were better handled online.

Facebook executive Simon Milner, the company’s director for policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was speaking at a session on the limits of discourse on the Internet that was prompted by the suicide of Interior Ministry official Ariel Ronis after Ronis was accused of racism in a Facebook post.

Julie de Bailliencourt, Facebook’s safety policy manager for the region, told the panel the that social media site has clear content guidelines and a staff whose job it is to remove harmful content, but another speaker, Avi Lan, complained that he had never received an explanation as to why a Facebook page that he created was taken down. 

Orange S.A. CEO gets death threats following flap over Partner Communications

French police are investigating death threats made against Stephane Richard, the CEO of Orange S.A., the company that used to be known as France Telecom, following a public row with Israel, a judicial source said on Tuesday. Richard’s personal details were put online and he then received about 100 phone calls, with some containing death threats, the judicial source said. Paris police had opened an investigation after Richard filed a complaint.

Israel protested to France after Richard said earlier this month that he would terminate a licensing arrangement with Israel’s Partner Communications “tomorrow morning” if the contracts allowed. Partner operates under the Orange brand name through a licensing deal that is believed to expire in 10 years but has no other connection to the French company. Richard visited Israel last week and told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he profoundly regretted remarks which he said were misinterpreted to make it sound as if he supported a boycott of Israel.

AVG Technologies to open Israeli R&D center, to employ over 120 

Security software maker AVG Technologies NV said yesterday it was opening a research and development center in Israel that would focus on emerging mobile threats. The facility in Tel Aviv will support more than 120 employees, said AVG, which has over 200 million monthly active users. AVG Anti-Virus, the company’s most popular mobile product, was driven by the acquisition of Israeli start-up DroidSecurity in 2010, it noted. “AVG’s rapidly growing mobile customer base makes this a critical time to build robust ... offerings, supporting the multiple mobile platforms and services that are so popular today,” said Harel Tayeb, AVG’s Israel country manager. 

Red Gold begins commercial production of algae by-product 

KMN Capital has begun commercial cultivation of red algae through its Red Gold subsidiary as a source of agarose, which is used, among other purposes, for DNA testing and in the cosmetics industry. Agarose production has begun following the completion of construction of 20 algae ponds on the Mediterranean coast at Dor, south of Haifa. With the addition of another 40 ponds in August, the company will have spent an estimated $400,000 on the project.

The firm has signed a supply agreement with one of the world’s leading cosmetic’s firms at a time when demand for agarose exceeds supply, Red Gold’s Beyla Potash said. She said production in ponds rather than in the sea, as is done in other countries, provides better control over quality and quantity.

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