Legal Guidelines for Searching Online Computer Content
Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker Street
What is the proper balance between protecting citizens' right to privacy and serving the public interest by way of heightened law enforcement procedures?
Privacy issues raised by the sheer volume of information stored on our computers and the ease in which it can be accessed and viewed are running up against legitimate law enforcement concerns regarding content of potentially evidentiary value. This phenomenon is worth discussing.
This meeting, attended by members of the Justice Department's Counselling and Legislation Department, attempted to answer the following questions:
- What are the rights and interests at stake?
- How can privacy interests of the individual be balanced with public concerns?
- Should a distinction be made between the authority to obtain evidence for use in a criminal proceedings and the authority required to obtain evidence for regulatory purposes? If so, what should this distinction be?
- Is it necessary to create a hierarchy that distinguishes between different types of online content (such as limiting a search to emails)? If so, how should such a distinction be formulated into law?
- Is it right to concentrate computer search authority exclusively in the Police Department, or is a decentralized approach that includes providing regulatory agencies with the power to search computers more appropriate?
- What are the trends around the world regarding the issue of computer searches that are not conducted by law enforcement entities?
Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer – IDI Vice President, Research
Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler – Head, IDI Open Government Project
Adv. Ophir Bar Tal – Nature and Parks Authority, Legal Counsel
Adv. Avital Begin – Ministry of Justice
Adv. Reut Bing – Ministry of Justice
Adv. Dan Chai
Adv. Ravid Dekel, Head of the penalty field, the Ministry of Justice division of Consultation and Legislation (criminal)
Adv. Dalit Dror, Chief Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Environmental Protection
Adv. Gavriella Fisman – Ministry of Justice
Adv. Rachel Aridor-Hershkovitz – IDI Assistant Researcher
Adv. Elazar Kahana – Israel Police Department, Deputy Attorney General
Adv. Yonatan Klinger – Israeli Digital Rights Movement, Legal Counsel
Adv. Lila Margalit – IDI Researcher
Doron Ofek - Information Security Expert
Adv. Avner Pinchuk – The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Adv. Gili Basman Ringold – Information and Technology Authority, Head of Legal Department
Adv. Gil Shapira- Ministry of Justice, Senior Manager, Legislation Department
Adv. Talya Steiner – IDI Project Manager, Proportionality in Public Policy
Adv. Hanna Tiri, Legal Counsel to the Consumer Protection Authority
Adv. Haim Vismonsky – Ministry of Justice, Head of Prosecutorial Legislations