Coronavirus: Israel enables emergency spy powers

The Israeli government has approved emergency measures for its security agencies to track the mobile-phone data of people with suspected coronavirus.

The new powers will be used to enforce quarantine and warn those who may have come into contact with infected people.

The temporary laws were passed during an overnight sitting of the cabinet, bypassing parliamentary approval.

The Association for Civil Rights in israel called the move “a dangerous precedent and a slippery slope”.

Such powers are usually reserved for counter-terrorism operations.

Details of how the “cyber-monitoring” will work were not disclosed but it is understood the location data collected through telecommunication companies by Shin Bet, the domestic security agency, will be shared with health officials.

Once an individual is highlighted as a possible coronavirus case, the health ministry will then be able to track whether or not they are adhering to quarantine rules.

It can also send a text message to people who may have come into contact with them before symptoms emerged.

The head of the justice system said the move would save lives, while Israel’s…

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