Snowden: American NSA Shares “Everything” with Israel

Snowden: American NSA Shares “Everything” with Israel

American N.S.A. whistleblower Edward Snowden.
American N.S.A. Whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Former US Intelligence Analyst Edward Snowden has accused the US National Security Agency (NSA) of routinely passing private, unedited communications of Americans to Israel, media reports said.

James Bamford, an expert on the intelligence agency, said Snowden told him the intercepts included communications of Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the information, AFP reported.

Bramford, wrote an op-ed on the New York Times about this leak from snowden in an article he entitled “Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal.”  Among other things, he said that the N.S.A. normally filters some information when it sends “spied data” to its allies, but with Israel it does not filter anything at all.

“The memorandum of agreement between the N.S.A. and its Israeli counterpart covers virtually all forms of communication, including but not limited to “unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.” The memo also indicates that the N.S.A. does not filter out American communications before delivery to Israel; indeed, the agency “routinely sends” unminimized data,” The New York Times op-ed read.

“It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen,” Bamford quoted Snowden as saying.

“The material was routinely transferred to Unit 8200, a secretive Israeli intelligence organization,” Snowden said.

Bamford cited a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart outlining transfers that have occurred since 2009.

Leaked by Snowden and first reported by the British newspaper the Guardian, it said the material included “unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.”

The memorandum indicates the data is routinely sent in raw form, without editing out names or other personally identifiable information, Bamford said.

He noted allegations in Israel by veterans of Unit 8200, who in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week accused the agency of using information it collects to politically persecute innocent Palestinians.

The data gathered by the unit included Palestinians’ sexual orientations, infidelities, money problems, family medical conditions and other private matters that could be used to coerce them into becoming collaborators, they said.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, is wanted by the United States on espionage charges after leaking a mass of secret NSA documents.

The 31-year-old fugitive is in asylum in Russia, where he has been granted a three-year residency that allows him to travel abroad.

Bamford, author several books on the supersecret NSA, which specializes in electronic espionage and codebreaking, interviewed Snowden over a three-week period in Moscow for Wired magazine.