Monday, October 29, 2007

Big Brother On a Shoestring Budget

Tomorrow, on Monday, 29th Octobrer 2007, the Knesset Constitutional Committee will discuss the Communications Data Act 2007. The press have termed it 'Big Brother Act' with good reason – it will allow the government – the Police and the General Security Service free and unfettered access to your communications data – they will be able to ask for phone records (i.e. know who you called and who called you), internet communications records – and they will not need a warrant to get the info.

Let me get this across to you American readers – and Israeli readers – they now demand acess to information on what sites you browse and for how long.

This is in a country where police already have a special unit dedicated to monitoring teen blogs and then raiding the teen in question if the blog shows 'signs of suicidal psychology'.

In a country where they already 'make and receive dozens of thousands of requests for information every year'.

Of course, on paper they would still require warrants.

But the access to warrants will be made ridiculously easy now.

More importantly, the law allows for the creation of a database of communications data with the police force, which the polcie will not need warrants to access. This will contain a variety of stuff, most interestingly a map of the cellphone network, allowing them to pin down the locations of cellphone users in real time.

And what do you think the rationale for this monstrosity is?

Answer: Not fighting crime. Not fighting muslim terrorism.

They are doing it because going through lawyers and courts and judges the old-fashioned way costs too much money. No, I kid you not.

Dr. Michael Birnhak from the University of Tel-Aviv has it all here in Hebrew:,7340,L-3464920,00.html


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