Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel invoked emergency regulations on Tuesday to deploy cyber monitoring in the battle against the coronavirus.  

The move will provide the government with cellular data to retrace the movements of people infected by the virus and locate and alert those who had been in their vicinity.

Such cyber monitoring would normally require parliamentary ratification and judicial oversight, but was announced on Monday by Netanyahu, and circumvented the process by winning cabinet approval on Tuesday to put the order into effect under emergency regulations.

The use of anti-terrorism technology to track infected people and anyone with whom they have come in contact drew criticism from civil rights groups when Netanyahu first proposed it over the weekend.  But, the battle against the coronavirus, and halting its spread outweighed concerns about the invasion of privacy according to Netanyahu.

There are more than 300 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel.  Further measures announced by Netanyahu on Monday included putting most of the public sector workforce on a one-month leave and reducing private sector employees to 30 percent attendance at their workplaces.

For additional information visit our friends at Reuters.

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