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Israel has passed emergency measures that will allow security agencies to track the smartphone data of people with suspected COVID-19 and find others they may have come into contact with (via BBC News).

track-covid-19-phone-use-israel.jpg

The Israeli government said the new powers will be used to identify people infected with coronavirus and make sure they're following quarantine rules.

On Monday, an Israeli parliamentary subcommittee discussed a government request to authorize the security service to assist in a national campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19, but the group decided to delay voting on the request, arguing that it needed more time to assess it.

The emergency law was passed on Tuesday during an overnight sitting of the cabinet, effectively bypassing parliamentary approval.

The government has yet to explain how the mobile tracking will work, but the BBC reports that it is understood the location data collected through telecommunication companies by Shin Bet, the domestic security agency, will be shared with health officials.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week announced his intention to bypass parliamentary oversight in order to push through the emergency regulations. Netanyahu says the new powers will last for 30 days only. Civil liberties campaigners in Israel called the move "a dangerous precedent and a slippery slope."

Israel is still in the relatively early stages of the pandemic. It had 200 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, the country's health ministry reported that cases had risen to 427.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Israel Passes Emergency Law to Track and Trace Mobile Users With Suspected COVID-19
 

djgamble

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2006
883
378
IMO this is pure evil. Israel's current propaganda engine is already using COVID-19 as an opportunity to say 'it got in through those savages in the Palestinian Territories!!! Let's close them all down to keep us safe from COVID-19!!!!'

Now they're taking it a step forward by passing laws to track everyday movements of Palestinians. All they're gonna do is track which people are traveling into work from the West Bank and lock 'em up. Just... unbelievable!
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2016
1,158
989
bad bad precedent...

In the end, those who have access to strong encryption and privacy are the government officials and the top 1%. Hilary Clinton, for example, intentionally uses personal email servers that she controlled instead of the Government work emails, just so that FBI and forensic officers can't access anything that might incriminate her. And yet, they want to install spyware on our phone! Mass surveillance is marketed as "bulk collection". The "collect it all, store it all, analyze it all" ethos is now extending to the innermost layer of our digital existence - your phones!

Would you rather let me in your home unattended for a weekend (vote with 👍), or let me play with your phone for an hour (vote with 👎)?
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2016
1,158
989
IMO this is pure evil. Israel's current propaganda engine is already using COVID-19 as an opportunity to say 'it got in through those savages in the Palestinian Territories!!! Let's lock the people up and close them all down for their own safety!!!!'

Now they're taking it a step forward by passing laws to track everyday movements of Palestinians. Just... unbelievable!

They have a very invasive SIGINT (signal intelligence) task force.


 
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4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
4,072
4,437
How does the government know which phone is yours? Do you have to register it? When you get one for your kids, and it’s in your name and you pay for it, do they have to register it? If you grab your friends phone by accident do you have to notify them? Do you have to warn them if you plan to leave it at home? Does it send your last known location if the battery gets low?
 
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neliason

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
416
780
What gets me is the US was spying on its citizens for years. It was slurping up every email and phone call. So in the US we have had secret police and secret courts for decades. It accomplished nothing good. But, when there will be some actual use for a police state to protect citizens we’ll not use it and receive the only benefit possible from it.
 
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Abaganov

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2016
375
239
If this can save life and can bring life to normal asap - then I say use it and use it hard. This virus is sneaky in the way people show no symptoms while spreading it around. If tech advances can help by tracking where they were and who they spread the virus to then why not use it?
 
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laz232

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2016
629
1,142
At a café near you
Smart move by Israel. I have always been a fan of their kick ass, take no names policy. Political correctness be damned.

It's not a smart move - because such precedents can and will be abused.
It is exactly that what the US Constitution, its amendements and the bill of rights, is meant to prevent.
So next time some (insert protest group, whatever political side it is on) wants to protest - "oops sorry, too dangerous, and by the way - who have you been in touch with..."
 
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MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
IMO this is pure evil. Israel's current propaganda engine is already using COVID-19 as an opportunity to say 'it got in through those savages in the Palestinian Territories!!! Let's close them all down to keep us safe from COVID-19!!!!'

Now they're taking it a step forward by passing laws to track everyday movements of Palestinians. All they're gonna do is track which people are traveling into work from the West Bank and lock 'em up. Just... unbelievable!
The article said Shin Bet was sharing with health authorities. This is using their surveillance state for good instead of evil.
[automerge]1584567874[/automerge]
Tracking isn't going to stop the spread.
Not unless you start rounding people up like China.
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,674
2,092
Australia, Perth
IMO this is pure evil. Israel's current propaganda engine is already using COVID-19 as an opportunity to say 'it got in through those savages in the Palestinian Territories!!! Let's close them all down to keep us safe from COVID-19!!!!'

Now they're taking it a step forward by passing laws to track everyday movements of Palestinians. All they're gonna do is track which people are traveling into work from the West Bank and lock 'em up. Just... unbelievable!

Privacy has no boundaries. To use COVID-19 to pass it off as "good" and "helpful" while clouding privy is the biggest concern.

Now more people than ever will be tracked as a "good"" think, while governments around the wold will soon jump for joy.

Expect this "goodness"to take off... Anything that helps everyone comes first unfortunately.

Tracking isn't going to stop the spread.


No, but it'll be useful in more than one case. While the "helping is done" with one hand, they track you with another.
 
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