Thursday, September 12, 2013

NSA Shares Intelligence Data of Americans’ with Israel


Edward Snowden leaks documentation of the NSA‘s sharing raw metadata with Israeli security agencies.
This sharing of “US persons” cellular and e-mail metadata with Isreal can be permanent residents, and anyone located in the U.S at the time of data interception.  The NSA and the Obama administration have told us that the government does not “target” US citizens, but various other leaked documents have been reported otherwise.

The memorandum does not place any legal limits on Israel’s use of the US data. It does say that the data on U.S. government officials must be “destroyed upon recognition”. Although, there are no such controls placed for the data on U.S. citizens.

Documents have revealed in August, the NSA created a “secret backdoor” to search it’s colossal databases for U.S. citizens’ private phone calls and e-mail messages with a warrant.

The memorandum says that Israel must handle the data in accordance with the U.S. law. It turns out there are no jurisdictions or laws to ensure those procedures are followed.

The NSA has defended itself in regards to its data sharing with Israel.

Intelligence services are working together under structured conditions that strengthens the security of both nations. Although, the NSA cannot use these relationships to prevent U.S. legal restrictions. “Whenever we share intelligence information, we comply with all applicable rules, including the rules to protect U.S. persons information,” said an NSA spokesperson to The Guardian.

Intelligence calls this process “minimization”, but the memorandum makes it clear that the information with the Israelis would be in its pre-minimized state.


This deal was reached in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for intelligence sharing.

The five-page memorandum, addressed the agreement between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies about the privacy of Americans rights.

Mark Zuckerberg said, “The government has done a bad job of balancing people’s privacy and it’s duty to protect.  Frankly I think the government blew it.”

Intelligence being shared is not filtered in advance by the NSA.  The NSA routinely sends ISNU [the Israeli Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw data.

The memorandum says that the material has to be handled in accordance with the US law, and that the Israelis agree to not deliberately target Americans data, but the rules are not backed by legal obligations.

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