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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Uncle Ehud will be watching you

Are private phone calls to become a thing of the past in Israel? Is the government going to be able to check which web sites I visit?
Private phone conversations could become a thing of the past in Israel if the Knesset approves a motion to be discussed Sunday by the Knesset's he Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. The law, an amendment to security measures, would create a “transparency” in privacy laws in order to police to access the records of all phone calls, both land-line and cell-phone based, with the measure to possibly be extended to information on computers as well.

The amendment, being prepared for its second and third readings, would give police access to both published and unpublished phone numbers and their associated addresses, serial numbers of devices and their associated owner information, SIM card information embedded in cell phones, and all communications passing through modems and cell phone antennas in Israel. Phone companies and e-mail service providers would be required to surrender the data police demand with the presentation of an appropriate police or court order.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said the establishment of the database would seriously infringe privacy. Attorney Sigal Shahav of ACRI wrote the committee that the database would give the police a great deal of information on people with no connection to crime.
That ought to do wonders for tourism here.


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