A senior justice ministry official said on Sunday night that the Shin Bet cannot activate the new coronavirus-related emergency powers until a special Knesset committee, the Intelligence Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, run by Blue and White MK Gabi Ashkenazi, approves. The emergency powers include using technological means to locate, and if need be arrest, Israelis who are not obeying health regulations to remain in quarantine while suspected of having coronavirus. It is unclear to what extent personal phones will be hacked to carry these actions out and concerned groups have pointed out that this violation of privacy might be a slippery slope. According to the briefing, which took place via media conference call, the measures have not yet gone into effect since the Ashkenazi committee has not yet approved of it. The official added that, in the past, the ministry rejected various emergency measures which authorities requested and also demanded that the police, and not Shin Bet, carry out operations unless the ISA enjoyed a unique advantage the police did not possess. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennet said that while they, too, are not entirely comfortable with using such means, the coronavirus outbreak is such a clear and present danger they believe halting its progress outweighs other concerns. The main example the official cited was that if a person infected with the coronavirus was previously in a place where 2,000 people walked through, but the Shin Bet has technological abilities to narrow down the five or seven actual people who were close enough to that person to have been infected, then it makes sense to use those abilities. The gains, said the official, are both inconveniencing fewer people and a quick ability to locate those persons who were more likely infected to get them into quarantine before they multiply the infection. Authorities would ask infected persons to access their cellphones to speedily figure out where they had been and who they might have infected, rather than merely relying on faulty memories. He argued they can refuse the request even under the new measures as Israelis enjoyed that right before when dealing with police. However, if the person refused and the Health Ministry believed that the person was likely to endanger others, some other kinds of technological means might be used to track the person, bypassing his objection. The special authorities are currently only valid for 30 days.