• NSA documents show US and UK spied on Israeli military drones

    From Good Move@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jan 30 05:26:29 2016
    XPost: soc.culture.israel, sac.politics, alt.politics.democrats
    XPost: misc.survivalism

    Washington (CNN)American and British spies have secretly
    monitored Israeli military drones, according to the latest
    investigative report by The Intercept.

    Until now, Israel has kept its drone program secret -- refusing
    to even acknowledge that it uses them in warfare.

    But now there's photo evidence from the drones themselves.

    The images come from classified material in documents exposed by
    former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    CNN has reviewed the documents published by The Intercept, but
    the NSA, following agency policy, does not verify the
    authenticity of its exposed files.

    The American and British spying are part of regular, ongoing
    international espionage. The United States and Israel, although
    allies, regularly peek in on each other's military projects,
    according to several former U.S. national security officials.

    To operate by remote control, large military drones send a
    signal to satellites in space. Spies at the NSA and the British
    Government Communications Headquarters managed to capture those
    signals and decode them, according to these documents.

    GCHQ would not acknowledge the documents. Instead, it provided
    its standard statement assuring its actions are legal, reviewed
    by officials, and abide by human rights laws.

    Neither the NSA nor the Israeli Embassy provided a comment for
    this story.

    "It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on
    intelligence matters," the agency told CNN.

    As far back as 2009, spies were able to track the locations of
    Israeli drones, see video feeds from them and even watch what
    the drones were targeting, according to the documents.

    For a six-month period sometime before 2012, American spies
    monitored "regular" flying missions of an Israeli-made Heron TP,
    a large twin tail drone that was "carrying weapons," according
    to the NSA documents.

    American and British spies did not hack the drones or hijack
    their controls. Instead, spies simply captured the signal
    between the drone and satellite. But they did have to hack to
    decode the signal, documents show.

    Hacking turned the scrambled signal from fuzzy gray screen into
    a clear picture of a drone's wing, or landing gear, or even the
    buildings and people targeted miles below.

    Israel uses its military drone program to target Islamic
    militants in the Gaza Strip, similar to U.S. drone strikes on
    suspected terrorists. Watchdog groups such as Amnesty
    International and Human Rights Watch have expressed concerns
    about collateral damage, investigating dozens of Israeli drone
    strikes in 2008 and 2009 that killed up to 87 civilians in Gaza
    during wars between Israel and Hamas.

    According to one document, hackers at NSA and GCHQ were able to
    decode the videos using publicly-available software. This shows
    that Israeli drones are not using a robust system to encrypt
    these signals.

    But getting real-time, immediate video feeds from Israeli drones
    is a difficult feat, the documents stated.

    Documents indicate that spies were able to capture the Israeli
    drone signals from a British military outpost in the island of

    Israeli drones weren't the only things that were spied on. In at
    least one instance, American spies were able to tap into the
    video feed of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, documents show.

    They were also able to spy on an Iranian-made drone that was
    being launched from a Syrian Air Force base in early 2012, just
    as President Bashar Al-Assad's government escalated its attacks
    on protesting civilians as the Syrian civil war intensified.

    The NSA documents say there was "presidential level interest in
    further video samples," indicating that the White House wanted
    to closely watch Assad's military campaign against his own


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