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NSA Shares Spy Data on U.S. and Australian Citizens with Israel

The United States National Security Agency routinely shares “raw,” unfiltered and “un-minimized” spy data it collects with Israel without first removing information about US citizens or the citizens of those close allies such as Australia. The spy information includes “transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence (DNI) metadata and content.”

In a leaked memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Israel dated March 2009, Israel is asked to respect the rights of U.S. citizens to privacy as part of the sharing agreement. It says that it should also respect the same rights of citizens from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Britain because of the 5-eyes agreements that the U.S. has with those nations.

In spite of assurances made by the Obama administration that there are rigorous safeguards to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens, raw metadata is being shared with a foreign country outside the close 5-eyes partnership.  There is no indication that the nations that are part of the 5-eyes partnership were consulted before the NSA began sharing the data with Israel. Sharing the data appears to violate the agreements between the United States and the 5-eyes nations.

The memorandum allows Israel to keep files on U.S., Australian, and presumably the citizens of the other 5-eyes nations for up to one year.  Israel has agreed not to target Americans identified in the data, but there is no legal backup for this agreement.  “This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law,” the memorandum says.

Israel has a very aggressive intelligence gathering organization.

Every principle of sovereignty, privacy and other constitutional protections is being repudiated by this and other actions taken by the United States, the 5-eyes nations and others. See Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5 and page 451.

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