25 thoughts on “Israel Launches Amos-4 Satellite with Secret Military Payload for Spying on Iran, Syria – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. dear richard lacking your sources this is a general inquiry
    …….as i said before the ofeq 7 satellite[according to aviation week & space technology] was launched expressly for the raid on the syrian ‘reactor’ which in my opinion was a ‘hot’ cell setting up for the assembly of a nuclear warhead……israel’s red line
    the ‘reactor ‘ had no cooling towers and no power transmission lines and the stike that destroyed it resulted in the debris being completely bulldozed over and covered with earth…….all that scattered plutonium a bit embarrassing perhaps ????
    north korean scientists were also reported killed in the strike……..not even a diplomatic protest of note
    the ofeq 7 sat was able to beam down to attacking fighters on approach the complete picture of the terrain in front of them …the on board computers on the fighters matched this data to a electronic path in front of them received by their sensors…a totally passive approach ….presumably ‘terrain’ includes radar and other military transmission….
    according to aviation week israel reached deep into its technological quiver to carry out the raid ….no offeq 7 no air strike………..priority one target ?????
    then israel ‘lost’ a satellite………offeq 8 !!!!!
    it was supposed to be lauched from india then was hastily removed from the launcher
    the nexrt launch was offeq 9 in ‘retrograde’ orbit over the mediterranean using a jericho missile as its launcher
    what happened to the hastily withdrawn offeq 8 ????
    and why kazakstan instead of india ???? for the new series of satellites
    my guess is that the reports that offeq 8 was secretly launched in a classified US launch are correct
    the inference is that to over come the ‘inverse’ problem of transmitting to a fast moving fleet of missiles bearing down on their target was solved by putting on board a small reactor [plutonium] possibly experimental technology demonstrator
    offeq 8 was to have enough power to send signals that were stronger than say easily jammable GPS and also across a wider band to the missiles …not the aircraft that launched them…..offeq 8 was to take command of air lauched missiles [like the spice series which have electro optical guidance] letting the bombers get out of dodge quickly
    the technology for a reactor in a satellite comes from the current series of landers on mars[courtesy NASA]
    it may be as small as only 2-3 kilos of plutonium on an experimental basis………but of course the public have no right to know this do they ?????no of course not keep up the good work richard

  2. @ Richard
    ” calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of…satellite transmission”

    If you’ll look at the back side of your phone, fax machine or computer, there is a phone line / cat 5 cable, that leads to a jack in the wall. If you’ll open the jack in the wall you will see there is a cable leading to the phone company / internet company hub. In short most of the worlds communication traffic is conducted via physical lines. How can a satellite tap on those line’s ?

    1. @ H. Mor: Read the Wikipedia links which describe how Ofek, Amos & ECHELON satellites work. I offered the links precisely to avoid the sorts of questions you’re asking. The information is right there. As Hillel said: “Now go and study.”

      1. @ Richard

        Satellite can pick radio wave signals, they can’t pick phone or internet transmission which aren’t radio wave based. Most telephony in the world isn’t radio wave based.

        since the US has physical access to the PSTN’s there is no reason to develop a multi-billion dollar satellite to achieve what A. Can’t be done. B. one could achieve much cheaper connecting to the PSTN’s.

        no please adopt your own suggestion and go learn. You may know something about the middle-east but technology isn’t your forte.

        1. @ H. Mor: Since you appear to be thick & either haven’t read the article to which I linked or you did read it and missed out on the content. Here is the passage on ECHELON:

          It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[4] ECHELON has been described as: “… a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications.” It was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.[5]

          …It is…a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.[5]

          ECHELON can clearly do precisely what you claim it can’t. Amos 4 is part of ECHELON. I don’t know precisely how it fits into the program, but it does. So whether or not Amos 4 itself can intercept communications on a massive scale is immaterial since the raison d’etre of ECHELON is to do so. Israel, as a secret partner in FIVE EYES, will have access to the intelligence produced by ECHELON. ECHELON partners will presumably have access to the spy data collected by Amos 4.

          Any questions? Hillel said: Now go & study. You didn’t.

          1. @ Richard, and you call me thick ?
            Look at what you quoted “dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communication” shall i make it bold so it would be easier for you to comprehend ?

            Satellites can intercept radio waves and all radio wave based communication. Period. They can’t communicate with PSTN’s unless they are radio wave based (and there are many PSTN’s which handle wireless communication for example)

            Think at it this way, when you want to tap wire someone’s land line you need to physically have access to his line.

            Echelon was / is a huge program, it consist of much more then satellites. Parts of it involved interception of PSTN communication.

          2. @ H. Mor: As with so many Israeli men, you swagger and think your swagger substitutes for substance. You haven’t refuted the Wikipedia article which makes very clear that ECHELON (and Amos 4 as part of it) gives Israel access to all the methods of communication mentioned in the quoted passage.

  3. As part of ‘5 Eyes’ does this mean Israel can do NSA-type intercepts on American civilians, without having to get authorization (let alone FISA Court authorization) from the US?

    1. @ Bluto,
      Does your question means that the US get the approval of Israeli courts for it’s spying activity against the state of Israel ?


      1. @ H. Mor: If Israel didn’t run U.S. spies like Jonathan Pollard & scores of others over the years, then the U.S. might not need to devote tons of counter-espionage resources to tracking Israeli spies here.

        Oh, & if Bibi’s planning to attack Iran unilaterally as he’s implied he would scores of times, we certainly need to engage in such spying efforts in order to fend off some of the worst damage such an attack would cause to U.S. relations with the Arab world.

        1. @ Richard
          “Oh, & if Bibi’s planning to attack Iran unilaterally as he’s implied he would scores of times, we might not need to engage in such spying efforts.”

          It’s a bit off topic, but the last performance of your president shows Bibi was right. Israel should not and can not count on anyone else to solve its own problem. The west will talk itself to death before taking action.

          History has a very obnoxious tendency of repeating itself.

          1. @ H. Mor: Between talking and dropping bombs I know what I prefer. YOu apparently prefer the Samson option leading to countless deaths & destruction of the enemy of your own people. “In blood and fire will Judea fell.” It can fall again you know.

          2. @ Richard
            For you it’s a zero sum game.
            For us, the saint majority, there is a lot that can be done between diplomacy to throwing nukes on a neighboring country.

          3. @ H. Mor: That was an inarticulate comment. I think you meant “sane majority,” though I’m not sure. As for what you meant by “zero sum game,” I haven’t a clue.

            BTW, if you are sane then the rest of the world has gone mad. Further, you’re not in the majority as the rest of world disagrees with practically every Israeli policy including your wish to bomb Iran.

          4. @ Meni Zehavi: Yes, I thought he was offering sainthood to Israeli right-wingers like himself! Considering Jews don’t have saints (at least not in the sense Catholics do) I found that slightly heretical!

          5. @ Richard
            I guess that one you can’t talk substance you will bolster your readers mistakes.
            Great debate, keep up the good work.

      2. You are missing the point of my question, conveniently.

        I don’t want my government spying on me and even MORE importantly, I don’t want my government giving permission to Israel to spy on me. Got it?

        Israeli apologists used the same tactics when Netanyahu was openly interfering in the 2012 presidential election as he desperately tried to get Romney elected so he could suck the US into a war with Iran. Israeli apologists would always pipe up and say, ‘well, the US interferes in ISRAELI elections’.

        Who cares about Israeli elections? – it’s not an equivalence to anyone other than someone trynig to use it as a hasbara tactic

  4. For what it’s worth:

    1. I have no problem with a satelite reading my mails, listening to my calls or knowing anything and everything about me. I have nothing to hide.

    2. I only have a problem if the info is misused, i.e. political persecution where no illegality is involved.

    3. I have no problem with the fact that such surveilance exists and it is concealed from the public – that’s why it’s done by the SECRET SERVICE. In John Cleese’s immortal words from Monty Python, “we can’t have Russians in the secret service as it wouldn’t be secret then”.

    4. I sincerely believe that the front line of every country’s defence is its secret service, and the better that service the better the defence.

    1. @ shmuel: I disagree with every point you raised above and your willingness to compromise your own privacy & that of your fellow citizens is precisely the difference between a real democracy and whatever Israel is.

      1. @ Richard
        And you don’t think your email’s in Your democracy are being read by the NSA after your involvement with Shamai Leibowitz ? how does that makes the US less a Democracy ?

          1. @ H. Mor: So you think the fact that the Guardian published this information means no one is making a big fuss about it? You think the Guardian publishes information of little or no value or interest to people??

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