(May 5, 2020 / JNS) A Knesset panel extended the mobile phone-data tracking system by the Shin Bet security service until May 26, giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu less additional time than he had wanted.
Netanyahu’s cabinet will present a draft bill in the coming weeks to regulate the use of the counter-terror technology being used to spy on the public, and the legislation will need to meet the requirements set by the Supreme Court, according to a Reuters report. The public will have one week to discuss the bill before it will be submitted for Knesset approval.
The Supreme Court ruled last week that the government must pass a law to continue the program, and that it can no longer rely on emergency measures.
According to data presented to the parliament’s intelligence subcommittee on Tuesday, 5,516 of 16,265 infected people were discovered by the surveillance program.
“Although it is aggressive and has privacy [issues], there is no other tool right now,” Ayelet Shaked, a former justice minister and member of the intelligence panel, told Reuters.
Critics say the program is a violation of rights and privacy, and that surveillance is no longer needed because coronavirus cases have dropped significantly. At the same time, the country has slowly begun to reopen.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.