Defensive Democracy – Legal Measures for Cyber Protection and the Protection of Constitutional Rights (Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology & Space)
Cyber-attacks are threatening the daily life of civilians and countries. The State of Israel is also required to defend itself from inner and outer attacks, by using tools to monitor and supervise the net. The need to secure the safety of cyberspace and protect against cyber-attacks, may require ongoing massive surveillance instead of limited wiretapping, the use of advance data-mining and big data analysis, and a wide-ranging collaboration with online intermediaries in law enforcement and counter terrorism tasks. The recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance program, including projects such as PRISM, raised a public debate worldwide over the legality of such governmental practices and the need apply them in compliance with democratic principles. As ICT advances, it is necessary to ensure that laws and regulations related to communications surveillance adhere to civil liberties and complies with constitutional rights. This may require a critical examination of the mechanisms which secure such checks and balances under the current legal regime.
The purpose of this study is to explore the legal implications of applying cyber-security measures under Israeli law and selected legal regimes, and propose a legal framework that could balance public order and national security concerns with the fundamental rights and liberties of citizens. In particular, our purpose is to analyze the current legal situation pertaining to the use of cyber security measures, identify the legal loopholes and discrepancies, and propose legal policies for addressing them.
The study will provide a systematic framework for designing legal policies and creating necessary legal tools to address cyber threats that Israel is facing today. The study will also propose guidelines and tools for policymakers. Thus, it carries significant practical implications for combating cyber threats while adhering to the rule of law and preserving human rights.