Thursday, November 15, 2007

"The Only Democracy in the Middle East"

The Occupation Magazine is still the best source of ongoing news of the Occupation.

From Walla Editorial translation by Daphna Levit Monday 12th November 2007

With a partial quorum, the Committee approved the vote on the “law of conditions for listening-in”, which will allow the police to listen to any citizen practically without supervision

The Constitution Committee of the Knesset approved the vote on the proposal for the “law of conditions for eavesdropping” in the second and third readings, which will allow the police to listen-in on land and cellular lines of every citizen without requiring the approval of the court; also to verify the geographic location of the speaker when he is speaking on a cellular phone; or to acquire patterns of his internet surfing and the text messages he sends.

In fact, this means the establishment of a data base which will give the police access to this type of information without it being requested from the telephone companies, the cellular or internet service providers. Although officially the police will need the authorization of the court to obtain this information, in those cases it is assumed that the eavesdropping could help save life or prevent serious crime, the police will conduct it on their own initiative.

The Voice of Israel (Broadcast) reported that only 4 of 16 members attended the committee meeting and some of them accused the Committee chairman, MK Menachem Ben Sasson of snatching the agenda. MK Rubi Rivlin (Likud) said that bringing this proposal to a vote is probably Kosher, but it stinks. MK Ben Sasson responded “We announced the date of the vote and all was Kosher.” With regard to the law itself he added: “The citizens of Israel can be assured that the privacy of the individual will not be affected”.

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