NSA shared unedited data on Arab Americans’ calls with IDF intel unit
Ex-NSA contractor Snowden told author Bamford that data could enable Israel to target callers’ relatives in Israel and territories.
By Haaretz | Sep. 18, 2014
By Anshel Pfeffer | Sep. 15, 2014
The U.S. National Security Agency shared unredacted private communications from Americans – particularly Arab-Americans – with a key Israeli military-intelligence unit, an author and professor wrote.
In a New York Times op-ed piece, James Bamford said that he’d met this summer with Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents.
Snowden found that the data NSA was passing to Israel’s Unit 8200 included IDs for who was calling whom.
Snowden said that the callers’ relatives in Israel and the territories could become targets based on the data, Bamford wrote in the Tuesday op-ed. When NSA shares information with other countries, it normally removes that identifying data, Bamford wrote.
Unit 8200 is the largest unit in the Israel Defense Forces and one of the military’s most prestigious divisions. It focuses on signals intelligence, or communications eavesdropping.
A week ago 43 former members of Unit 8200, including some officers, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top military officials, saying they would refuse to do reserve service because of Israel’s `political persecution’ of the Palestinians. Continue reading