The Israeli army is using advanced technology, including Blue Wolf facial recognition, NSO’s Pegasus smartphone spyware, and spy drones to track Palestinian activists in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and even in Israel. Social TV, a private, progressive news outlet, has produced a clip entitled “Under Surveillance – Israeli Dystopia” in cooperation with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Privacy Israel, which exposes the practice of its extensive use and the dangers this poses to Israeli society.
Jonathan Hempel, a human rights activist and defense industries researcher says that Israel has turned the West Bank into a laboratory for invasive monitoring and tracking technologies.
Gil Gan Mor, an ACRI lawyer, explains that the Israeli army uses the facial technology of Anyvision, now called Oosto, to identify Palestinians wherever they may be. Microsoft, which originally invested in Anyvision, divested after it learned of the practice.
Blue Wolf is also used against international human rights activists who are then prevented from re-entering Israel. With this technology, the state could intercept a human rights activist leaving their home in Tel Aviv for a demonstration against the occupation and arrest them before they ever arrived. Gan Mor warns that the Knesset is planning to introduce legislation that would legitimize use of Blue Wolf facial technology, which already operates in some of the country’s hospitals and institutions. The Israel Police have also requested that they be given this technology to prevent violence at the Jerusalem Pride parade.
Privacy Israel Executive Director Adv. Naama Karpal says that while she worries about the intrusion on our privacy by Google and Facebook, Blue Wolf represents a more physical threat. This technology is already in the hands of Israel Police, which has the power of arrest.
Hempel concluded that Israel’s tech sector has made surveillance systems and equipment into a profitable, global business using the West Bank as one massive human laboratory.