Two students and 5 girls in national service: this is how the police are fighting cybercrime

The State Comptroller states that there are serious deficiencies in the Israeli police’s handling of cybercrime, according to the State Comptroller’s report published today (Tuesday). The audit revealed that despite the 150% increase in the volume of infidelity in the world, estimated in 2020 at about $ 20 billion, and the heavy economic damage caused to the Israeli economy, estimated at hundreds of millions of NIS, it was not found that the police formulated a plan to deal with a unique crime. this.

It was also found that about half of the victims of offenses in the online space who reported this to the police, claimed in the CBS survey for 2019 that they were not satisfied with the police treatment and 84% of them expressed dissatisfaction with its approach. If they are harmed by a cybercrime, they will report it to non-police agencies or they will not report it at all.

The audit found that the National Cyber ​​Center (MSA) at Blade 433 operates without a detailed methodology and without appropriate technological equipment.

The intelligence picture for 2020 revealed that the network is a space in which the state has no control, and in its area it fails to protect the security and economic interests of itself and its residents, including in terms of personal security and privacy. In addition, although there is an intelligence and operational need to institutionalize cooperation between the police and the defense establishment, with an emphasis on the intelligence community, there are no permanent work interfaces between the bodies.

The audit also found that more than 25% of the 36,009 cases opened by the police in 2018 to 2020 and classified as “Internet-related” were closed outright; 75% of the rest of the investigation files were closed, most of them (about 63%) on the ground (if no one was found to have committed the offense or when his identity is not suspected); the handling of these investigation files lasted a short time of up to ten days.

In addition, there is a significant shortage of basic and advanced equipment in the cyber units and the technological arena (ZIT), which is not in line with the police procurement plans for 2019 to 2020. Online and tracing it.In the absence of such technological means, the cyber system and the technical arena have difficulty extracting digital evidence in all events.

In addition, the State Attorney’s Office’s activity in the voluntary enforcement field (according to which it addresses site operators that include content that is illegal to remove) is done without explicit authorization by law, but by virtue of the residual authority of the government and by the Attorney General’s auxiliary powers. The State Attorney’s Office acts at this level at the request of a injured public servant or a person in charge with the consent of the employee, but does not act at this level for victims from the general public. In the High Court published in April 2021, the State Attorney’s Office was recommended to consider an orderly and detailed legislative initiative regarding the whole of voluntary enforcement, as has been done in some Western countries.

As of 2015, the administration of the courts has exercised independent voluntary enforcement to remove publications against judges. In 2016, the court administration made 97 inquiries to website operators and this number gradually decreased until in 2019 3 inquiries were made, and in 2020 no inquiries were made at all. This activity, which was not explicitly included in the administrative authority conferred by the Courts of Justice Act, was anchored in an internal procedure updated in December 2019 with the approval of the Attorney General.

It has also emerged that there are gaps that have accumulated over the years due to the need for regulation and amendments to legislation in the field of enforcement against cybercrime, which have not yet been updated. Existing legislation does not provide a complete and practical solution to the threat in the online space and is not adapted to the rapid technological development. The aforesaid findings illustrate the need to provide effective tools for law enforcement agencies in their action against crime and in an up-to-date legal regulation of the powers of law enforcement agencies.

Comptroller Engelman noted that assessments of a significant increase in crime in the online space in the coming years require law enforcement agencies to step up their preparedness in a way that ensures the necessary enforcement response. It is proposed that the police concentrate effort both on building the force and activating it to combat crime in the online space, with the support of the Ministry of Homeland Security and in accordance with the recommendations set out in this report. In addition, the police must ensure that any action taken with the technological means at their disposal, including hacking into private computer systems and mobile devices, will be done while protecting the rights of the individual and in accordance with the necessary legal approvals. The State Attorney’s Office and the administration of the courts must act to regulate and authorize some of the enforcement actions they take. This series is required both because of the need to balance the needs of the law enforcement system and with the rights conferred on the individual by law and because the future encodes an increase in crime incidents in the online space, which will require coordinated and planned action.

Against the background of the Pegasus case and the police use of spyware, the State Comptroller noted that the report does not deal with the police’s use of technological tools in the framework of its overall intelligence and investigative activities in front of all areas of enforcement. According to him, the police have a duty to operate the tools, means and equipment in their possession solely in accordance with the provisions of the authorizing legislation, ordinances and procedures, and to act in accordance with the specific instructions it receives from the legal counsel in the various cases. The police must be careful in this context that the fight against cybercriminals as well as the exercise of its powers in the areas of intelligence and investigation will not be done in ways that could infringe on the fundamental rights of the individual and his privacy illegally.

By Editor

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