11 thoughts on “NSA Maintains Secret “Five Eyes” Satellite Facility in Israel – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Great insights and scoops here, Richard. You added to the overall picture.

    Israel’s large role in the NSA surveillance apparatus, its erection, supervision, and maintenance has been well-documented in the public domain, which corroborates your story as well. In fact, most of what Snowden has supposedly revealed is less than what was actually already out there.

    For instance, Israel’s wiretapping of the US for the NSA was known well before Snowden as reported both by Fox here in 2002 by Carl Cameron in a series called, “Israeli spies in America” and clearly indicates the Israelis were reviewing all of the collected data (they’ve definitely looked at all of your conversations, Richard): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k43_NKYs50

    And by Wired Magazine in 2012, “Shady Companies with Ties to Israel Wiretap the US for the NSA”: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/04/shady-companies-nsa/all/

    And by BusinessInsider in Jan 2013: http://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2013-6

    As you can see, a majority of this was already known before Snowden. Further, stuff Snowden has supposedly revealed doesn’t seem fresh upon view of what was already known. Snowden, in fact, leaves out the most crucial part, the Israeli criminals at the top of the NSA. Maybe the reasoning is, however, that Snowden is scared of the group that, as you said, doesn’t really play by any rules.

    It’s becoming more and more apparent the NSA apparatus wasn’t a reactive measure, but proactive. It didn’t just spring up overnight after 9/11.

  2. Excellent article and I understood the installation was on the Golan Heights. The press talks about the “Five Eyes” but in recent revelations it’s clear there are “Nine Eyes” around the world and part of Echelon. The Dutch satellite discs are located in the rural area of Burem, intelligence agency is called National Sigint Organisation (NSO). Amsterdam and The Netherlands play a major role not only in Echelon, but also in NSA snooping of Internet [major hub] and telecom. The Dutch have Israel’s Verint as official corporation to register “official” telephone taps. I have written about its illegality before.

    In a recent Al Jazeera documentary about the failed Mossad assassination in Jordan, it was revealed a major Mossad intelligence hub was located in Amsterdam. The Israeli Mossad has a Free Zone in El Al hangars at Schiphol airport, see the crash of Boeing 747 freightliner El Al flight LY1862 with sarin gas precursors in 1992.

    From the Snowden papers, NSA “feeds” raw data to Israëli intelligence. Would that be Unit 8200 in conjunction with another spy agency? The NSA feeding raw data to Unit 8200, may have fed the mobile phone bug in the Ukraine. Israel was keen on releasing the data because of EU and US support for fascists and neo-nazi parties in opposition. The press release of Nuland’s bug in the social media was through an organizition using the Anonymous logo with their website hosting located in New York FWIW.

  3. Corr. not Mt. Hermon, but indeed the Negev desert …

    Israel’s most important SIGINT station at Urim base by New Zealand’s Nicky Hager

    Israel’s Urim base in the Negev desert is among the most important and powerful intelligence gathering sites in the world. Yet, until now, its eavesdropping has gone entirely unmentioned.

    Israel’s powerful position in the Middle East is often associated with its armed forces, nuclear weapons arsenal or covert (Mossad) operatives. But just as important is its intelligence gathering – monitoring governments, international organisations, foreign companies, political organisations and individuals. Most of this happens at the installation in the Negev a couple of kilometres to the north of the kibbutz of Urim. Our sources, close to Israeli intelligence, know the base first-hand. They describe lines of satellite dishes of different sizes, and barracks and operations buildings on both sides of the road (the 2333) that leads to the base. High security gates, fences and dogs protect the facility. As you can see on the internet, the satellite images of the base are quite clear. A practised eye easily discerns the signs of an electronic surveillance base. A large circle in the farmland shows the site of a direction-finding antenna (HF/DF) for monitoring shipping.

    The Urim base was established decades ago to monitor Intelsat satellites that relay phone calls between countries. It expanded to cover maritime communications (Inmarsat), then rapidly targeted ever more numerous regional satellites. As such, says intelligence specialist Duncan Campbell, it is “akin to the UK-USA pact’s Echelon satellite interception ground stations”. The Echelon system is a network of interception stations around the world, set up in 1996 by the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Satellite phones used by the Gaza-bound aid ships were easy targets for this hi-tech equipment.

    Our Israeli sources described how the computers are “programmed to detect words and phone numbers of interest” from intercepted phone calls, emails etc, then transferred to Unit 8200 – the headquarters of Israeli signals intelligence – in the city of Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv. There they are translated and passed on to other agencies, including the army and Mossad.

    [See also website of Nicky Hager]

  4. Interesting to watch, I hope it is available outside The Nethelands …

    Dutch interview Ronen Bergman and Danny Yatom [8:22 min]

    The two Israeli corporations are Verint (since 2013 Comverse) and Narus (since 2010 a Boeing subsidiary) have a joint cooperation with NSA to intercept telephone and other communication channels, and as supplier of hardware and software. Both Verint and Narus possess in-house technology developed by the Israeli Army (IDF). Verint was founded by former intelligence officers and have direct ties with the government. [Both companies have R&D with NSA and are closely involved with building and operations of the new data center for the NSA in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range]

    Close ties

    The intelligence network has close ties especially between Israel and the US. Most likely Mossad exchanges intelligence with NSA on a global scale. The Israeli intelligence has a ‘backdoor’ to NSA material: raw espionage data that includes intelligence on US citizens exploited by the ISNU, Israel’s Sigint National Unit.

    Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA

  5. ”I maintain that it’s clearly connected to the U.S. brokered peace talks with the Palestinians.”…RS

    I believe you are onto something there.
    Kerry made the statement recently that Israel would not have to ‘rely’ on keeping the IDF in certain territories for ‘security’ because the use of a high tech survallience system could do that job —-I took this to be Kerry’s answer or attempted answer to Israeli demands to keep military control in some areas.
    Then shortly after that I saw an announcement in the news that Lockheed was ‘investing’ in Israel and going to set up shop there to take advantage of Israeli IT in creating ‘ survalliance security systems”. That didn’t ring exactly right with me. For one thing Lockheed (thur defense sharing) is where Israel has gotten and “cloned” a major portion of their weapons high tech. I cant see Israel being as advanced as Lockheed in that area. Another reason is Lockheed and Israel have butted heads for long time on Israeli ‘cloning” of their tech for Isr weapons sales to other countries.

    Could be wrong, but this made me wonder if this investment story wasnt a cover for the US putting Lockheed in Israel to create even more Israeli security as part of I/P possible deal.

  6. ”Allowing the placement of such a base on Israeli soil is a major gift from the Israeli people, since it allows no other country anything remotely similar.”

    RU Serious? Major gift? They get unlimited nsa raw data, at no cost. I mean at ‘major gift’ cost.

    1. The intelligence community of Echelon act autonomously, the responsible minister of smaller entities have no knowledge of the surveillance level as we have repeatedly witnessed in EU countries and especially minister Plasterk who has come under fire in The Netherlands.

      The partners in Echelon have an agreement to collect and distribute signals to the network without limitations. The original UKUSA bilateral agreement of 1955 has been declassified and can be downloaded here.

      In 1956 the three additional three Commonwealth nations were added. In my estimation, the US has additional and close relationships with the UK and Israel. Intelligence gathering is reciprocal, a state needs to collect data and be secure pf top secrecy or it will be banned, cut out of the loop. The IC community is now putting strong pressure on The Netherlands.

  7. As Nicodemus says, information about Israel’s close connection to the NSA has been floating around for years. Israeli companies have been at the heart of surveillance of Americans for at least the last twelve years. Israeli equipment is still at the heart of surveillance of Americans within America’s most secret spy agency.

    More than that a “strong supporter of Israel,” “with close connections to the country.” passed “advanced analytical and data mining software” to Israel. When that espionage was discovered that, the NSA decided not just to ignore, but to ratify it, and to ask Israel for “access to communications terminals” in return. No prosecution under the Espionage Act, as for senior American NSA agents, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden (and maybe Glenn Greenwald) — none of whom actually committed espionage.

    And none of this is covered by the American media. See the detailed post at: “Just One More Detail”:American Surveillance And The Unanswered Question of Israel

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