After the various reactions to the camera law that was passed today in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, a surprising reaction from the opposition when the chairman of the state camp, Benny Gantz, tweeted on his Twitter account: "If adequate and strict supervision is incorporated into the legislation, and all actions are only under the control of the professionals, we will support the law."
The facial recognition system is an important capability in the basket of tools that will help the Israel Police fight the rampant crime that claims human lives every day. Therefore, already in the previous government the law that allows this was introduced.
"However," Gantz continued, "for this ability to help fight serious crime and not be used to harm democracy, it must be carefully monitored in its operation, which will be in the hands of external legal entities, and make sure that it is a reliable technology that does not discriminate against citizens, as well as additional control processes. The concern of many citizens is understandable, and still - if adequate and strict supervision is incorporated into the legislation, and all actions are only under the control of the professionals, we will support the law.
Gilad Kariv: "The proposal cannot be separated from Ben Gvir's attempt to become the acting Commissioner"
Earlier today Knesset members, including Labor Knesset member Gilad Kariv, responded to the law: "Technology is advancing at a fast pace - that's true. The fight against crime is an urgent national need - that's also true. But there are a few other things that are true: in the bill for the bio-metric cameras, there is no need for approval Judicial. All decisions are made by the police. The bill does not include serious oversight mechanisms.
Kariv continued: "The periods for operating the cameras are very long. The proposal allows extensive use of bio-metric information retrospectively. The Privacy Protection Authority, which operates by the law, opposes the bill. There are two other very correct matters: the police failed to implement technological tools and control them, and there is no reason to allow them to use tools without a very close supervision and control mechanism. And most importantly: we are in the midst of a political takeover of the police, and we cannot separate this proposal from the racist and nationalist Ben-Gvir's attempt to become the actual commissioner."
The camera law will be used to fight protectionism
As published earlier today, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the law approving the use of facial recognition cameras, by Ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Yariv Levin, to be a significant tool in the fight against crime, particularly crime in the Arab sector. The law will be promoted after it came up in the past and it was rejected due to an overly broad interpretation of the permission to use cameras.
After discussions between the ministries of national security and justice, it was decided to reduce the law to cases of "serious crime", and protection offenses. The opinion submitted on behalf of the legal adviser to the government also sided with the promotion of the bill, while continuing to choose the accuracy of the arrangement on the technological supervision. The updated wording will explicitly state that these cameras will no longer be used to enforce free speech events such as demonstrations, and in addition, the proposal stipulates a three-year prison sentence for those who make illegal use of these camera records.