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NSA and Israel: Spying on Americans and Each Other

By       Message Larry Toenjes       (Page 4 of 12 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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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.

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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.

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]

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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.

Background:   Israel, Israeli firms, and espionage against the U.S.

The involvement of Verint and Narus in the siphoning of data from AT&T and Verison communication systems is well established, as the article in Haaretz referenced above indicates.   For example, included in documents obtained by Mark Klein, the original whistleblower who in 2004 revealed the secret room 641A linked to AT&T telephone lines, was an equipment list that included a major device built by Narus.   The capability of this equipment and associated software is touted in Narus' own website today.


Narus nSystem is a portfolio of analytics solutions that apply automated machine-based algorithms to process 100% of network packets to discover, analyze, and understand every interaction on a network. nSystem develops rich profiles of every interaction to provide deeper context for faster, more accurate awareness. Analysts can immediately home in on critical issues instead of wasting time on unimportant conditions or manually trying to piece together data to see the big picture.

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A Narus graphic on the previously linked page depicts a Network Traffic Beam going into one side of a prism, with three beams of information emerging from another side.   The emerging information flows are labeled as follows:


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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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