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High Court rejects petitions against ´big brother´ law (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Aviad Glickman Published: 05.28.12, 23:03)Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4235219,00.html YNet News - Yediot Achronot YNet News - Yediot Achronot Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Petitioners claim new bill granting government agencies access to phone, computer records infringes upon right to privacy; judges concur, but rule that it also ´helps agencies perform their duties´

The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected petitions filed against the constitutionality of a bill dubbed the "big brother" law.

The planned legislation grants a number of government agencies, such as the Antiquities Authority, the Nature and Parks Authority and the Environmental Protection Ministry, among others, permission to tap Israelis´ phones and computers.

The petitioners – the Israel Bar Association and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel – claimed that the bill infringes upon the right to privacy in an disproportional manner, and could also violate the immunity granted to lawyers, doctors, journalists and other professionals.

A panel of seven judges, headed by former Supreme Court President (Emeritus) Dorit Beinisch, determined that while the law does infringe upon the right to privacy, its complexity and the extend of protection should be examined in light of modern technological realities.

"The existing technological tools provide authorities with sophisticated means by which to infringe on the right to privacy on the one hand, and assist in performing duties such as enforcement and maintenance of public order on the other hand," the judges wrote.

The judges further noted that "triggering this authority would only be possible in cases where it is needed for concrete and specific reason, such as an investigation into a specific incident, as opposed to general uses, such as detection of felons and prevention of crimes." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 05/28/12)


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