Knesset committee green-lights Shin Bet phone tracking

The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has given the go-ahead to a bill that would allow the Shin Bet to assist in contact tracing efforts by tapping into peoples’ phones.

The controversial measure must still pass second and third readings in the Knesset. It is expected to be in effect for three weeks as a stopgap measure until an app from a private firm that can do the work can be rolled out.

The bill stipulates that the Shin Bet can only be deployed if other contact tracing efforts prove fruitless, but adds that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can ask the committee to expand the criteria needed for the Shin Bet to track people should he so desire.

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