Israel’s Big Brother Saga Continues

Saar Sheinfine, the runner up in the second season of the israeli version of the Big Brother hit TV series, and now a local celebrity thanks to the intense media coverage the program receives, issued proceedings in the Tel Aviv local court today against the producer of the program, Kuperman Productions and the programs psychiatrist, Dr. Ilan Rabinowitch. According to an article published in Israel’s leading news website, Ynet, Mr. Sheinfine is suing for damages to the sum of INS 2,500,000 (approx 500,000 euros) claiming that his participation in the program has rendered him 30% disabled. According to Sheinfine, at quite an early stage in the program he wanted to leave, but was convinced otherwise by the programs production team and the programs psychiatrist, who allegedly also persuaded Scheinfine to take psychiatric drugs.

Participants in such high profile programs usually sign very “tight” agreements which are meant to protect the programs production company, the broadcaster and key personel from exactly such scenarios. In this respect, it will be interesting to see how the agreement Mr. Sheinfine signed fares this storm. Mr. Sheinfine, has obviously taken into account that the pressure he is putting on the powers that be, may force them to reach an out of court settlement with him. But even there Keshet will be taking a huge risk given that any settlement, even out of court, may encourage other participants to take a similar path. There is much at stake here not only for the broadcaster of the program Keshet Broadcasting, but also for other production companies, all eagre to see this saga unravel.

Given the public nature of the proceedings, the Israeli public and broadcasting media professionals will receive an unprecedented insight into the behind the scenes workings of Israel’s most popular TV program.

Big Brother Looked At

The 2nd Authority for Television and Radio, Israel’s commercial TV and Radio regulator, has commenced looking into the psychiatric treatment that is given to participants in the Israeli version of the hit prime time reality TV show “Big Brother“.

Israeli news has been flooded in recent days with the revelations that some of the participants in the “Big Brother” show were allegedly given psychiatric medicine.

Keshet, the broadcaster of the show has been asked to provide clarifications and information with regard to the matter.

The 2nd Authority for Television and Radio has said that the newspaper reports in this matter are a cause for concern and that it will look into the way participants are chosen, the medical treatment they receive and the extent of the medical treatment actually dispensed during the show.

According to an article by Shelly Pritzker of Calcalist published on the 2nd Authority for Television and Radio’s website, Keshet has stated that in the current season of the program, psychiatric treatment and medicine were not required for this season of the program and that all in all, out of one hundred participants of the program to date, only 6 have required such treatment, and that this number is lower than the national average.

Data Protection In Israel – The Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority

The Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority (ILITA), was established by the Ministry of Justice ofIsrael in September 2006 to become Israel’s data protection authority.

The mission of ILITA is to reinforce personal data protection, regulate the use of electronic signatures, and increase the enforcement of privacy and IT-related offences.

ILITA website.



Google Street View In Israel

The Israeli Law Information and Technology Authority (ILITA), Israel’s data protection authority, authorized Google to operate its Street View cars in public areas in Israel and to include these photos in Google Maps. For full article please see ILITA webpage.