Press Release

ISA Surveillance Provides a False Sense of Security

Following the Cabinet's decision to introduce the ISA Surveillance Law to the Knesset, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, says that "use of ISA surveillance provides a false sense of security."


Following the Cabinet's decision to introduce the ISA (Israeli Security Authority) Surveillance Law, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of the Israel Democracy Institute's Democracy in the Information Age program, said:

"As the days go by, the government's failure to prepare for the second wave of coronavirus is clearer than ever. The government is trying to show that it is taking drastic measures, but in fact the use of ISA surveillance without an effective testing system and a functioning human investigative process in place, provides a false sense of security. This system fails to protect in many instances – people who go to synagogue on Saturday without a phone, family members who meet in their home, and even when people shop at the mall - where the ISA's technology ineffective as in all buildings.”

"It is a pity that after all the warnings about the far reaching implications of privacy violation and despite experts' warnings of the inefficiency of the tool, the Israeli government has chosen to use a measure that no democratic state has resorted to.”

"At yesterday's Knesset debate, it became clear that an application developed by the Ministry of Health could be operational within a week. What is needed now is - along with his demand that the public wear masks, the Prime Minister should use his television appearances to call on the public to download the app that will ensure their safety. We need four million downloads and then the ISA can return to dealing only with terror. At the same time the government must also promote dedicated solutions for 'kosher phone' owners who do not have smartphones, such as smart cards and wearable technology. "