Israel's Shin Bet wants to check tourists' email

April 25, 2013 at 6:06 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, April 25 (UPI) -- Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said he backs a move that permits Israeli security personnel to access email of tourists seeking to enter the country.

"Such searches are performed only in exceptional instances, after other relevant incriminating indications are found," Weinstein said Wednesday when asked to rule on a petition filed by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, which protested the move, Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

The petition referred to Israeli Security Authority (Shin Bet) personnel who barred tourists from entering Israel last year after searching email accounts or because the tourists refused to consent to the procedure, Haaretz said.

Responding to the rights group's petition, Weinstein's assistant, Nadeem Abboud, said "given the limitations of intelligence coverage and the difficulty of obtaining relevant information about foreign citizens, the questioning conducted at the border crossings by the representative of the Shin Bet carries weight in bolstering or refuting the suspicions against a foreign national wanting to enter," Haaretz said.

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