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If you live in Israel, it’s very likely you were already under secret surveillance for the past several years – legally, mind you – courtesy of the Israeli government.

Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, was authorized a number of years ago under a clandestine program to keep track of most Israeli citizens for at least two and a half years, according to a report broadcast Sunday by Israel’s Channel 13 television news team.

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In fact the program, which allowed the intelligence organization access to personal data of most Israelis, was approved by senior Justice Ministry officials. The name of the project was classified, and it may still be in progress, according to the report.

The project bypassed parliamentary oversight and other standard legal authorizations. The approval mechanism for the “black box” program, as it was called, went through a small committee set up in the Ministry of Justice, headed by State Attorney Shai Nitzan. At some point, Attorney General Mandelblit also gave his approval as well.

The program, intended as part of the battle against the Islamic State terrorist organization, was originally approved for a six-month period; it later was extended and continued from there. It is not known whether the project has been discontinued, or not.

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