Israel’s unfettered access to NSA data Documents show U.S. special relationship with Israel includes passing information on U.S. citizens' communications

The NSA’s sprawling surveillance dragnet, which daily collects data on millions of U.S. citizens’ online and phone communications, is troubling enough. Now it has been revealed that not only the U.S. government, but the Israeli government too has near unfettered access to considerable amounts of communications data going out of the U.S.

The latest in the Guardian’s barrage of revelations, based on a top-secret memorandum between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart and leaked by Edward Snowden, illustrates how the surveillance state stretches far beyond national borders. As Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen McAskill reported Wednesday, the NSA — as regular practice — shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about U.S. citizens. Via the Guardian:

Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis…

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

The five-page memorandum, termed an agreement between the US and Israeli intelligence agencies “pertaining to the protection of US persons”, repeatedly stresses the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy and the need for Israeli intelligence staff to respect these rights.

But this is undermined by the disclosure that Israel is allowed to receive “raw Sigint” – signal intelligence. The memorandum says: “Raw Sigint includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.”

MORE  AT http://www.salon.com/2013/09/11/israels_unfettered_access_to_nsa_data/
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