#NSA ‘routinely’ shares Americans’ data with #Israel

from RT.com: The NSA regularly shares raw US intelligence data with Israel without
even removing information about American citizens
, according to the
latest revelation published by the Guardian. The report is based on a
document leaked by Edward Snowden.

On Tuesday, September 11, the Guardian published a previously
undisclosed document which revealed top-secret policies in place
since 2009 that are used to share personal phone and Internet
data pertaining to United States citizens with American ally

The document, a five-page memorandum authorized by the National
Security Agency near the beginning of US President Barack Obama’s
first administration, outlines a deal between the NSA and
Israel’s SIGINT National Unit, or ISNU. 

“This agreement,” the memo begins, “prescribes
procedures and responsibilities for ensuring” privacy
safeguards are implemented to protect the Fourth Amendment rights
of US citizens with regards to the direct sharing of raw
intelligence collected by the NSA with its Israeli counterpart.

That data, the document later explains, includes raw traffic
picked up by the American spy office such as “unevaluated and
unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and
Digital Network Intelligence (DNI) metadata and content”
which is never necessarily scrutinized by US officials before
sent to Israeli agents. 

Israel’s secret intel unit spawns high-tech tycoons

But while the contents of emails and phone calls involving most
US persons are fair game to be collected by Israeli intelligence,
a select group of Americans are sparred from international
surveillance: elected officials.
The memo mandates that the
Israelis must “destroy upon recognition” any communication
“that is either to or from an official of the US
government.” That pool of exempt persons is defined as
“officials of the executive branch (including the White House,
cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of
Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal
court system (including, but not limited to, the Supreme

The Guardian notes, however, that other leaked documents
uncovered as of late indicate that the US intelligence community
may have reservations nonetheless with sharing info with even an
ally as tried and true as Israel. 

“On the one hand, the Israelis are extraordinarily good Sigint
partners for us, but on the other, they target us to learn our
positions on Middle East problems,”
a senior NSA official
says in a 2008 NSA document seen by the Guardian but not
published in Wednesday’s piece. “A NIE [National Intelligence
Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence
service against the US.” 

“One of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly
intelligence services, like Israel. There are parameters on what
NSA shares with them, but the exchange is so robust, we sometimes
share more than we intended,” the Guardian quotes from the
’08 document. 

According to Guardian journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras
and Ewen MacAskill, a NSA spokesperson pressed for comment
wouldn’t deny the validity of the leaked document’s contents, but
assured the British newspaper that “Any US person information
that is acquired as a result of NSA’s surveillance activities is
handled under procedures that are designed to protect privacy

The latest leak comes on the 12-year anniversary of the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks that many high-ranking US officials
have used to justify the surveillance measures enacted in the
decade-plus since. It also marks just more than three months
since the Guardian first began published leaked NSA documents
attributed to Snowden, a 30-year-old former intelligence
contractor who has since relocated to Russia where he was granted
asylum while avoiding espionage charges in the US.

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