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NSA and Israel: Spying on Americans and Each Other

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to None 9/14/13

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- Video Conferencing

- Notifications of target activity -- logins, etc.

- Online Social Networking details

- Special Request

Between the nine Internet companies, the services they provide, and the major telephone companies AT&T, Verizon and others, it's difficult to imagine any electronic communications in the US that are not being intercepted.

Response in Israeli press -- Haaretz

Almost immediately these Snowden revelations were picked up in the Israeli press, but with a new twist.   On June 8, 2013 Haaretz carried the following story:   "What was the Israeli involvemen t in collecting U.S. communications intel for NSA?" [emphasis added]

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Israeli high-tech firms Verint and Narus have had connections with U.S. companies and Israeli intelligence in the past, and ties between the countries' intelligence agencies remain strong"

According to an article in the American technology magazine "Wired" from April 2012, two Israeli companies -- which the magazine describes as having close connections to the Israeli security community -- conduct bugging and wiretapping for the NSA.

Verint, which took over its parent company Comverse Technology earlier this year, is responsible for tapping the communication lines of the American telephone giant Verizon, according to a past Verizon employee sited by James Bamford in Wired"

Natus [sic], which was acquired in 2010 by the American company Boeing, supplied the software and hardware used at AT&T wiretapping rooms, according to whistleblower Mark Klein, who revealed the information in 2004.   Klein, a past technician at AT&T who filed a suit against the company for spying on its customers, revealed a "secret room" in the company's San Francisco office, where the NSA collected data on American Citizens' telephone calls and Internet surfing.

Klein's claims were reinforced by former NSA employee Thomas Drake who testified that the agency uses a program produced by Narus to save the personal electrical communications of AT&T customers.

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Both Verint and Narus have ties to the Israeli intelligence agency and the Israel Defense Forces intelligence-gathering unit 8200.   Hanan Gefen, a former commander of the 8200 unit, told Fortune magazine in 2007 that Comverse's technology, which was formerly the parent company of Verint and merged with it this year, was directly influenced by the technology of 8200.   Ori Cohen, one of the founders of Narus, told Fortune magazine in 2001 that his partners had done technology work for the Israeli intelligence"

Given the close ties between U.S. and Israeli intelligence, the question arises as to whether Israeli intelligence, including the Mossad, was party to the secret. [see]

The Haaretz article raises a number of important issues, especially the involvement of two Israeli firms in tapping into communications lines of US telephone giants AT&T and Verizon, as well as both companies' ties to the secret Israeli intelligence organization unit 8200. Unit 8200 is Israel's equivalent to the US National Security Agency.

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Laurence A.Toenjes is retired from the University of Houston ?s Department of Sociology where he was a researcher with The Sociology of Education Research Group. Toenjes received his doctorate in economics from Southern Illinois University.

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As you point out. Israel has been integral to NSA ... by Jim Kavanagh on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 3:31:42 PM
Jim: you make a great point. Manning and Sno... by Larry Toenjes on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 6:53:15 PM
Well said.... by Jim Kavanagh on Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 1:21:36 AM