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How Israel balances cyber security, privacy

In an interview with Al-Monitor, cyber security specialist Major Gen. (Res.) Isaac Ben-Israel explains that security must be balanced with civilians' right to privacy, which is why the new National Cyber Bureau will be independent and not under Shin Bet control.
People pose in front of a display showing the word 'cyber' in binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica December 27, 2014. A previously undisclosed hacking campaign against military targets in Israel and Europe is probably backed by a country that misused security-testing software to cover its tracks and enhance its capability, researchers said. Picture taken December 27, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY CRIME LAW) - RTR4JEYM
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Despite the warnings of lawyers and experts in data security, on Feb. 15, the outgoing government authorized the creation of a national cyber defense authority. In a strongly worded letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the opponents argued against the authorization of the program, because the agency to be created will hold many powers that could impinge on citizens’ privacy, without checks and balances.

Among the signatories of the letter are Boaz Dolev, formerly the head of Project Tehila, attorney Yoram Hacohen, the former head of the Law, Technology and Information Authority at the Ministry of Justice, and many lawyers and legal experts in the field of cyber security. According to them, the government’s proposal lacks “the creation of a civil mechanism for inspection and control over the authority’s activity — starting from periodic reports to the government and the public, to representing the objects of inspection and monitoring — in the private and business sectors — in the central decision-making processes.”

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