Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Privacy

Israel Airport Security ‘Allowed to Read Tourists’ Email’

JERUSALEM – Israeli security officials at Ben Gurion airport are legally allowed to demand access to tourists’ email accounts and deny them entry if they refuse, the country’s top legal official said on Wednesday.

JERUSALEM – Israeli security officials at Ben Gurion airport are legally allowed to demand access to tourists’ email accounts and deny them entry if they refuse, the country’s top legal official said on Wednesday.

Details of the policy were laid out by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in a written response to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the group said in a statement.

In June 2012, ACRI’s Lila Margalit wrote to the attorney general demanding clarification following media reports about security officials demanding access to tourists’ email accounts before allowing them into the country.

“In a response dated April 24, 2013, the attorney general’s office confirmed this practice,” ACRI said, quoting sections of the document which said it was only done in exceptional cases where “relevant suspicious signs” were evident and only done with the tourist’s “consent”.

Related Reading: Privacy Statements – Where Size Matters

“However, the attorney general’s office also noted that while a tourist may refuse such a search, ‘it will be made clear to him that his refusal will be taken into consideration along with other relevant factors, in deciding whether to allow him entry to Israel’,” it continued.

ACRI slammed the policy as a “drastic invasion of privacy” heaping scorn on the idea a tourist could freely give their consent while facing the threat of possible deportation if they refused.

“A tourist who has just spent thousands of dollars to travel to Israel, only to be interrogated at the airport by Shin Bet (domestic security) agents and told to grant access to their email account, is in no position to give free and informed consent,” Margalit said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Such ‘consent’ — given under threat of deportation — cannot serve as a basis for such a drastic invasion of privacy,” she said.

“Allowing security agents to take such invasive measures at their own discretion and on the basis of such flimsy ‘consent’ is not befitting of a democracy.” 

Related: Anonymous Attacks Israel, but Damage ‘Minimal’

Related: Privacy – Why Europeans Think You’re Inadequate

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Learn how to utilize tools, controls, and design models needed to properly secure cloud environments.

Register

Event: ICS Cybersecurity Conference

The leading industrial cybersecurity conference for Operations, Control Systems and IT/OT Security professionals to connect on SCADA, DCS PLC and field controller cybersecurity.

Register

People on the Move

Check Point Software has appointed Nadav Zafrir as Chief Executive Officer

BlackFog has named Brenda Robb as President, John Sarantakes as CRO, and Mark Griffith as VP of Strategic Sales

Former NSA cybersecurity chief Rob Joyce has joined Sandfly Security's Advisory Board.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights