Israeli human rights groups have asked the Supreme Court to repeal the government’s decree to reauthorize internal security services to monitor cell phones as part of a plan to block the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security agency, that it uses phone tracking technology originally developed for counter-terrorism purposes as part of measures announced on Sunday to prevent the spread of the new Omicron virus. . Bennett also blocked Israel from all foreign travelers for 14 days.
Four human rights organizations petitioned the Israeli High Court on Monday to challenge Bennett’s decision “Unfortunate and illegal” And violated the court’s previous ruling.
“The High Court ruled in April 2020 that Shin Bet has no right to pass emergency regulations or government decisions to implement contact tracing, but must convene the Knesset [Israel’s parliament] And advance legislation. Therefore, the restoration of the plan through emergency supervision is a flagrant disregard for the rule of law,” The Israeli Civil Rights Association (ACRI) is one of the groups involved, he said in a statement statement.
In addition, Shin Bet’s espionage “It violates the basic trust between citizens and the government,” ACRI said.According to the Covid-19 emergency measures, the plan was authorized for the first time in March 2020, but the court Be ruled it “No longer reasonable” This March.
Surveillance technology matches the location of a person’s mobile phone with other people nearby to determine who may have been in close contact with potential carriers of the virus.An official from the Ministry of Health said on Sunday that its use will “surgical” And only for confirmed or suspected carriers of Omicron.
There are 2 confirmed cases and 10 suspected cases in Israel, and this new strain of virus was first discovered in Southern Africa. Although information about it is still limited, doctors in South Africa and Botswana stated that it seems to be spread more easily than the earlier variants and has caused only mild symptoms so far.
The Supreme Court has asked Bennett to respond to the petition by Tuesday.