≡ Menu

Israeli Company Sold Internet Surveillance Software to Iran for Years

Bloomberg News reports that an Israeli high tech company, Allot Communications sold a web monitoring product called NetEnforcer to Iran for six years through a Danish distributor. The business news service confirmed the story through three former sales agents who said the sales were a widely known fact within the company.

Israel formally bans commerce with Iran and such sales would’ve been a violation of Israeli law and U.S. economic sanctions against that country. However, as I’ve reported here previously, this has not stopped trade between Israel and Iran. Iranian oil finds it’s way to Israel and an Israeli shipping company owned by one of Israel’s richest families, the Ofers, sold its ships to the Iranian state shipping company. This caused the U.S. government to place the Ofer company on a banned list.

In other words, profits best ideology when money is to be made by Israeli entrepreneurs. Israelis can talk about patriotic duty and wax horrified at the notion of betraying the national good through such dealings, but the facts tell a different story.

Allot’s dealings also betray the hypocrisy of the State of Israel railing against western governments for not doing enough to bring down the Iranian regime, when Israel itself is doing far less than it could on that score. And why should these same nations be cowed by Israel’s righteous indignation under such circumstances?

The Israeli high tech company claims it knew nothing about the Iranian sales and that the Danish distributor violated terms its contract if it sold to Iran. It also claims that its product cannot be used for monitoring wide scale Internet traffic in the way the Iranian government controls and suppresses free speech on the web. Bloomberg however reports that experts working for NGOs advocating freedom of access on the internet treat these claims dubiously.

So Allot faces the double whammy of violating Israel’s embargo on trade with Iran AND empowering the web police inside that country to ferret out resistance to the regime and punish it. It’s an odious record and the company’s stock fell sharply on the news.

Not a word from Bibi Netanyahu or Ehud Barak about this schandeh, though they are the country’s chief cheerleaders for an attack on Iran. Apparently, it doesn’t disturb them that one of Israel’s high-flying tech companies made a mockery of their demonization of Iran as an existential threat to their existence.

Bufferfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail
youtube

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • pabelmont December 25, 2011, 9:16 AM

    “In other words, profits best ideology when money is to be made by Israeli entrepreneurs. Israelis can talk about patriotic duty and wax horrified at the notion of betraying the national good through such dealings, but the facts tell a different story.”

    Not only a question of pure ideology here, of course, since we’re seeing (as I read this post) a bit of ideology-influenced “prosecutorial discretion” whereby Israel has failed to enforce laws against this company which they quite probably do enforce against others (e.g.) Muslims.

  • Aonee December 25, 2011, 5:04 PM

    As far as oil imports are concerned, I don’t see how it is harmful for the state of Isreal in anyway. If anyone should be worried,it would be iran as to what steps need be taken to stop this from happening in their effort to starve Israel of the energy. I am sure Iranian oil is not the only source of oil for Israel,if so Iran would have already done that. Conversely if Israel is the only major importer of Iranian oil in the world, then an oil embargo is all it needs to cripple Iran’s economy.

    Coming to the Allot communications story.
    What if “NetEnforcer” is some kind of a secret bug that israel deliberately wants to plant in Iran’s internet communications? Don’t forget its a web monitoring product and you never know how these high-tech things can be tweaked to serve the masters. If you can recall how Siemens SCADA was used to wreck havoc to the Iranian centrifuges then my conjecture doesn’t sound as crazy as it seems.