The Camera Law

Meirav Ben-Ari on the camera law: "It's our law"

In the opposition, reactions to the Cameras Law, which was approved today in the Legislation Committee, Gilad Kariv said: "We cannot disconnect the proposal from Ben-Gvir's attempt to be the de facto chief"

MK Ben-Ari (Photo: Knesset spokesperson, Danny Shem-Tov)

After the Legislation Committee approved today (Monday) the law proposed by Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir and Justice Minister Yariv Levin to authorize the use of cameras for facial recognition, political reactions continue to pour in.

Knesset member Yulia Malinovsky from Yisrael Beiteinu responded to the law by writing, "I have no confidence in this government, especially when it comes to dealing with tools that can jeopardize the security of the State of Israel and the privacy of its citizens. When it comes to biometric databases and such sensitive information, we need to handle it with the utmost caution."

Malinovsky continued: "The system that needs to oversee all of this is the judicial system that the current government is trying so hard to undermine. In the 20th Knesset, I introduced a law on the biometric database, where data retrieval in cases of serious crimes would only be allowed with the approval of a district court president. Given the recent actions of this government, soon the authority to access the data will be entrusted to Ben-Gvir.

"When legislating such a law, it should be done with careful consideration and with a thousand layers of protection, and extreme caution should be exercised in its use because there is a serious concern here about infringing on privacy, misuse by unscrupulous hands, and leaking information to our enemies. I have the feeling that the ministers who approved the law in the Legislation Committee rushed it through without deep thought about the consequences, and I am not at all sure about their true intentions," concluded the Knesset member.

Gilad Kariv: "We cannot separate the proposal from Ben-Gvir's attempt to be the de facto chief"

Knesset member Meirav Ben-Ari from the Yesh Atid party tweeted on her Twitter account: "Let's get things straight, the LPR Cameras Law is a law written by our government, neither Levin nor Ben-Gvir. The law is supposed to assist the police in enforcing the law and saving the lives of law-abiding citizens. Our government approved it, Pnina Tamano-Shata opposed it, and then it came to the Knesset for discussions and amendments, just like in a normal Knesset and a reasonable government. Here, both of these things don't exist."

Labor Party Knesset member Gilad Kariv also responded: "Technology is advancing rapidly – that's true. The fight against crime is an urgent national need – that's also true. But there are a few more things that are true: In the proposal for the biometric cameras law, there is no need for judicial approval. All decisions are made within the police. The law proposal does not include serious oversight mechanisms. The timeframes for activating the cameras are very extended. The proposal allows for extensive use of biometric data retrospectively. The Privacy Protection Authority, operating under the law, opposes the law proposal."

Gilad Kariv (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

"And yes, there are two more very valid points: the police have failed in implementing technological tools and controlling them, and there is no reason to allow them to operate such tools without a mechanism of strict supervision and control. Most importantly, we are in the midst of a political takeover of the police, and we cannot disconnect this proposal from racist and nationalist Ben Gvir's attempt to be the de facto chief."

The Camera Law was rejected in the past, but now came up with a reduced version

As mentioned earlier today, the Legislation Committee approved the law allowing the use of cameras for facial recognition, with the aim of providing a significant tool in the fight against crime, particularly in the Arab sector. The law had previously been proposed and rejected due to overly broad interpretations of the permission to use cameras. After discussions between the National Security and Justice Ministries, it was decided to narrow down the law to cases of "serious crimes" and "protection" offenses.

Illustration (photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash 90)

The legal opinion submitted on behalf of the Government Legal Advisor also sided with advancing the proposed law while continuing to clarify the details of technological surveillance. The updated wording explicitly states that these cameras will not be used for monitoring freedom of expression events such as protests. Additionally, the proposal establishes a punishment of three years in prison for those who make illegal use of the documentation from these cameras.

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