Israel to use ‘anti-terrorism’ tech to monitor infected citizens, as Netanyahu declares ‘war’ on coronavirus

15 Mar, 2020
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said he was given the go-ahead to deploy invasive digital surveillance tools to track coronavirus patients, sparking privacy concerns and fears the move will be used to suppress dissent.
Dubbing the rapidly spreading Covid-19 “an invisible enemy” with which Israel is currently in a state of “war,” Netanyahu said on Sunday that he would ask the government to allow law enforcement to deploy “technologies used in the war against terror” to make sure coronavirus-hit citizens don’t breach quarantine.
The Israeli Justice Ministry is already on board with the proposal, he said.
Acknowledging that new ‘Big Brother’ measures would constitute an infringement on citizens’ privacy, Netanyahu justified the move by arguing that it was for a greater public good.
There is a certain invasion of the privacy of those people, where we will check who they came in contact with, including while sick, what came before that, what came after
Netanyahu’s militaristic stance on combating the disease has spawned backlash on social media. Netizens argued that with the pending rollout of new Orwellian surveillance measures, Netanyahu is opening “a scary Pandora’s box,” further cementing Israel’s reputation as a “security state.”

Israel Approves Cellphone Tracking for Coronavirus Patients as Cases Rise to 213

As the highly contagious novel coronavirus spreads around the world, Israel and the Palestinian Authority struggle to contain a local outbreak that has virtually halted air traffic in and out of Israel, led to school closures and tens of thousands of people entering quarantine.
The government approved the tracking of cellphones by the Shin Bet security service in order to inform people who were unwittingly close to someone diagnosed with the virus during the two weeks prior to the diagnosis.