Invasive Email Searches in Airports Contradict Israeli Law

Ben-Gurion Airport, photo by Beny Shlevich, CC-by-SABen-Gurion Airport, photo by Beny Shlevich, CC-by-SA

Following recent reports, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) emphasizes that the demand made by the Israeli GSS to internationals visiting Israel, that they provide their email account password to security authorities, contradicts Israeli law. The law outlines severe restrictions regarding the circumstances under which this can be done, and even conditions it on a judicial order.
 
According to recent reports in the news and in social media, foreign nationals visiting Israel have been asked by the GSS (“Shin Bet”), during interrogations in Ben Gurion Airport, to access their personal email or Facebook accounts so that the interrogators can retrieve information relating to their planned visits. A few visitors were then denied entry. See for example coverage on Haaretz in English and the Associated Press.
 
According to these reports, the GSS claims that the actions taken by the agents during questioning were within the organization’s authority according to Israeli law. However, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) states that, contrary to this claim, this is an illegal practice. “Invading a computer or an email account constitutes a grave violation of privacy and dignity,” says ACRI attorney Lila Margalit. “Therefore, Israeli law contains strict provisions regarding the circumstances under which this can be done – and even conditions it on a judicial order. The demand made to internationals visiting Israel, that they provide their email account password to security authorities sounds like something that could be expected in totalitarian regimes.”
 

Share:
  • Print
  • email
  • RSS
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, The Right to Privacy

Tags: |

Comments are closed.