Israeli Activists Protest Against Biometric Database Law using Drones

Israeli Activists Protest Against Biometric Database Law using Drones


A poster in Hebrew "I wasn't made by finger", Israeli slang means "I wasn't born yesterday"

“I wasn’t made by finger”, Israeli slang means “I wasn’t born yesterday” CC BY-SA

A year ago members of Pirate Party Germany landed a drone in front of Angela Merkel’s campaign rally in Dresden, in order to protest the use of surveillance drones by the EU. This month, Israeli activists used this method of protest against the loss of privacy to the next level.

They flew a drone above the private estate of MK Meir Shitrit, a former Minister of Interior, who is behind the Israeli Biometric Database Law. The Israeli biometric project wishes to create a compulsory biometric database, containing fingerprints and facial image of every Israeli citizen, and integrated into the Israeli digital identity cards and digital passports (though other countries that have digital ID’s and passports they don’t store the biometric details of their citizens in any database).

The opposition to the biometric project in Israel is very strong, and this succeeded in restricting it to only a voluntary pilot program at this stage. Academics, scientists (including Nobel Prize winners) and security experts, made their opinions heard against the database, arguing that, not only it is an immoral and anti-democratic act to collect such data (that can be used for surveillance) from citizens who are not suspected of any crime, it also endangers the security of every Israeli citizen in case of a leak. Even Israel’s security agencies forbid their people to join the dangerous experiment.

This time, the activists invaded the privacy of the person who led this privacy invading initiative, giving him a taste of his own medicine. As can be seen in this video, Shitrit’s son, who was sunbathing while the drone flew above him, didn’t like it very much. He shouldn’t. Collecting data from people against their will and for no justified reason should be illegal, not compulsory by law.

Video: (if you do not see the video below click this link)

Guest author:  Yoav Lifshitz

Founding member of Israeli Pirate Party (not a registered party).
Co-editor of The Pirate Platform blog at Haaretz (newspaper) website.

Featured image: CC BY Don McCullough