New Cyber Law Won’t Protect Political Parties

YERUSHALAYIM -
Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Chairman (Likud) MK Avi Dichter. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Chairman (Likud) MK Avi Dichter. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israeli political parties are vulnerable to the same type of hacking as occurred to the Democratic National Committee recently, and will remain so, even after a new bill to govern cyber defense gains approval, The Jerusalem Post reported.

MK Anat Berko (Likud) informed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee on Cybersecurity on Monday that the legislation would put the National Cyber Authority in charge of the nation’s cybersecurity, although the Shin Bet would take over in time of war or other emergency.

In response to a question as to whether the new arrangement would provide protection for Israel’s political parties, the answer was in the negative.

Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter explained that the National Cyber Authority (NCA) only has jurisdiction over classified government systems, or vital civilian infrastructure, like the Electric Company, Mekorot (water company) or Bank of Israel. Political parties were not included.

MK Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) noted that “yesterday, there was a vote by secret ballot in the Labor Party [about the date of its leadership primary]. If Russia wanted to see how I voted, there would be no protection under law.” He did not explain why Russia would want to know this.