US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netany.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
The Guardian newspaper published a "top secret document" Wednesday provided by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, that reveals the US National Security Agency (NSA) shares "raw intelligence data" with Israel, without first removing information about US citizens.
The document that Snowden reportedly provided is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart the Israeli Sigint National Unit (ISNU) "pertaining to the protection of US persons."
The MOU discloses that Israel receives raw signal intelligence ("raw Sigint") from the US which includes unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, and voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.
'Minimization' is the process that an intelligence agency carries out to safeguard the privacy of its citizens prior to sharing information with a foreign agency, according to the report.
Israel receives such "unminimized raw signet" according to the MOU and is required by it to handle the information according to US law but according to The Guardian
the document does not back up these rules by any legal obligations on Israel.
An NSA spokesperson did not deny to the The Guardian
that personal information of US citizens was included in raw intelligence data shared with the Israelis, but he insisted that the shared intelligence "complied with all rules governing privacy."