This article immersed me in a sea of confusion.
A Justice Ministry bill that would expand the state's power to track cell phone and e-mail conversations has provoked outrage from privacy advocates.
The bill would almost double the number of state agencies allowed to access such data when conducting investigations.
Currently, the only agencies authorized to obtain communications data are the police, the Military Police, the Justice Ministry unit that investigates police misconduct, the Israel Securities Authority, the Antitrust Authority and the Tax Authority.
I don't have any opinion about the idea of people wantonly listening to my cell phone conversations and/or reading my e-mail. I mean, no opinion aside of a negative one. But it's all generalities. Here is the part that totally discombobulated me:
The new bill would also give this power to the Agriculture Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Defense Ministry's internal security department (known by its Hebrew acronym Malmab).Leaving aside the Defense Ministry and its security problems: what for do these other people need to eavesdrop on my calls?
- Is the Agriculture Ministry unhappy with the way I slice my cucumbers?
- Does the Environmental Protection Ministry suspect my dark designs regarding the striped hyena and the Israel painted frog?
- Does the Nature and Parks Authority want to find the person who left his/her toothmarks on lower branches of most eucalyptus trees in the Hula Valley park last year?
- And re Israel Antiquities Authority: Are they interested in the identity of the person who squeezed a freshly minted 5 shekel coin into the 2nd Temple period Judean coins collection in the Israeli Museum (and who is still cackling happily about it)? Possibly they also want to know who drew with fluorescent paint the words "SnoopyTheGoon was her!" (there wasn't room for the last "e") on the tomb of the Patriarchs?
In a loosely related news:
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday tried to push forward a new initiative which would radically increase police power to search people both above and under their clothing to cases even without any concrete suspicion.Yeah... without any concrete suspicion. Amazing. I wonder why a gendarme will suddenly decide to search a person he doesn't suspect... hm... its' a tough one.
The letter also mentioned that Interior Minister Eli Yishai sent a letter in support of the bill on May 13, 2012.
But a vision of Interior Minister Eli Yishai searching both above and under Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman's clothing fills me with some glee and inner happiness. Of course.