The Defense Ministry has launched an initial probe into reports that an Israeli
hitech company knowingly sold Internet-surveillance equipment
distributor in Denmark to Iran, the ministry said on Saturday.
decide if to launch a full investigation based on the findings,” the ministry
said. If launched, the investigation will be led by MALMAB, the Defense Ministry
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The probe was launched after Bloomberg reported
Friday that Allot Communications Ltd., a company based in Hod Hasharon, sent the
surveillance equipment to a Danish distributor, which then repackaged the gear
and shipped it to Iran.
According to the Bloomberg report, Allot
Communications sold the Danish company a product called NetEnforcer which
conducts “deep packet inspection” of Internet networks and can also be used to
optimize net traffic.
Bloomberg said that deeppacket inspection has been
used to snoop into e-mails in countries like Tunisia, and to even change its
contents. It can also reportedly be used to identify anonymous webusers and
enable authorities to arrest and torture those users in countries such as
Officials at Allot told Bloomberg that they did not have knowledge
of products being sent to Iran. The news agency said in its report that it spoke
to three former employees who claimed that it was well known within the company
that the equipment was sent to Iran.
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Allot President and CEO Rami Hadar
said the Bloomberg article contained “a number of critical inaccuracies,” but
added that the company was exploring measures it could take to better control
the final destination of its products.
Hadar said Allot’s equipment is
not designed for intrusive surveillance purposes, but rather for optimizing
Internet traffic for service providers. The equipment lacks capability to
analyze or extract knowledge on the actual content of traffic, he
Allot’s corporate policy is to comply with Israeli and non- Israeli
laws, but the company strongly believes its equipment is not regulated by
Israeli-defense export laws, Hadar said.
Lastly, he added that Allot
sells its products through a network of distributors and resellers worldwide,
but that beyond contractual measures it has no electronic way to locate or
disable its products after shipment.