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Personal Rights, the Public Good and a Shadowy Spy Service (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Law professor Michael Birnhack weighs in on an age-old tug of war that has taken on new urgency in Israel with allegations of spying on rank-and-file citizens

Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, has been coopted in the country’s efforts to stop coronavirus infections by tracking people through the movement of their cellphones.

It has made many who worry about privacy unhappy. In fact, the head of the Shin Bet himself has professed that he is just as unhappy knowing that others are unhappy.

But now there’s word the domestic spy service has tracked many – if not most – citizens on a routine basis as part of its war on terrorism, something that, if true, is flashing a lot of red lights.

For some insight into the never-ending tug of war between personal rights and the public good, The Media Line consulted with Prof. Michael Birnhack, a specialist on technology and privacy issues at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann Faculty of Law.

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