Monday, August 04, 2014

CSEC and ISNU

The latest report by Glenn Greenwald concerns the NSA relationship with Israel ("Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack," The Intercept, 4 August 2014), but it also notes that CSEC cooperation with Israel also occurs.

Based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the article states that
Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC....

The surveillance-sharing relationship with Israel has expanded to include the NSA’s British and Canadian counterparts, GCHQ and CSEC, both of which actively participate in feeding the Israelis selected communications data they have collected. Several documents from early 2009, at the height of the Israeli attack on Gaza called “Cast Lead” that left more than 1,000 people dead, detail some of this cooperation.

One top secret 2009 GCHQ project named “YESTERNIGHT” involved “Ruffle,” the British agency’s code name for ISNU. According to the document, the project involved a “trilateral (GCHQ, NSA and Third Party RUFFLE) targeting exchange agreement covering respective COMSAT accesses.” One of the “specific intelligence topics” shared between the parties was “Palestinians”, although the GCHQ document states that “due to the sensitivities” of Israeli involvement, that particular program does not include direct targeting of Palestinians and Israelis themselves. Another GCHQ document from February, 2009, describes “a quadrilateral meeting for RUFFLE, NSA, CSEC and GCHQ.”
No other details provided.

Update 18 August 2014:

Patrick McGuire, "Canada Spies on Israel's Enemies," Vice, 18 August 2014

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