The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.
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.”
According to the agreement, the intelligence being shared would not be filtered in advance by NSA analysts to remove US communications. “NSA routinely sends ISNU [the Israeli Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw collection”, it says.
It is tough to argue these things could never happen when we know for a fact that NSA spooks were eavesdropping on the phone calls of girlfriends and wives with a click of the mouse, without any problems.
The chaos these wiretapping claims by President Trump are generating is an impressive exercise of control over the media’s amygdalae. If you look at the media coverage, people barely even know that there is a major healthcare bill, a Supreme Court Nominee, a skinny budget, and a southern wall about to be built.
By comparison, the idea that one President had wiretapped a successor has so shocked everyone that everything else seems insignificant by comparison. Amygdalae see the claim, and even though it was just one small tweet, it is so prioritized by the amygdalae of everyone that everything else is practically ignored.
Imagine all that could be done under the radar if there is actually evidence that this has happened.