Another shoe has dropped in the National Security Agency’s covert mass surveillance program.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden has provided The Guardian with a document that outlines the NSA’s widespread sharing of “US persons” cellular and e-mail metadata with Israel. According to The Guardian, “US persons” include US citizens, permanent residents, and anyone located in the US at the time of data interception.
The classified document, called the “Memorandum of Understanding,” shows that the NSA has been providing Israeli intelligence agencies with reams of raw intelligence data, such as transcripts, phone records, and digital network information, since 2009.
The memorandum does not place any legal limits on Israel’s use of the US data. It does say that any data on US government officials must be “destroyed upon recognition” — but, no such controls are in place for data on US citizens.