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Israeli security using Omicron as a reason to spy on citizens

by on01 December 2021

What a surprise

Israel is jolly worried about the new Omicron strain. After convincing most of its citizens to be vaccinated only to see Covid levels rise, it has made the new more dangerous Omicron strain a subject of national security.

The country's domestic intelligence service Shin Bet is using counter-terrorism phone tracking technology to contain the spread of the Omicron virus variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the phone tracking would be used to locate carriers of the new and potentially more contagious variant to curb its transmission to others.

However, some people have a problem with this. HumanRights groups petitioned Israel's top court on Monday to repeal new COVID-19 measures.

Israeli rights groups say the emergency measures violate previous Supreme Court rulings over such surveillance, used on-and-off by the country's Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency since March, 2020.

A senior health ministry official insisted that phone tracking would be "surgical" in nature, only to be used on confirmed or suspected carriers of the variant.

The surveillance technology matches virus carriers' locations against other mobile phones nearby to determine with whom they have come into contact. Israel's Supreme Court this year limited the scope of its use after civil rights groups mounted challenges over privacy concerns.


Last modified on 01 December 2021
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