whitney on pegasus

Pegasus is Just the Tip of the Israeli Cyber Spying Iceberg, with Whitney Webb
Mnar Adley, MintPressNews, Jul 23 2021

Edward Snowden has called it “the story of the year.” An Israeli spying company has been caught selling software to authoritarian regimes that have used it to surveil more than 50k people worldwide. That company is NSO, founded in 2010 by former members of Unit 8200, the Israeli military’s notorious intelligence squad. Their product is called Pegasus, and it was sold to military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies in 40 countries, among them some of the world’s worst human rights abusing governments. On this “MintCast,” investigative journalist Whitney Webb joins Mnar Adley today to discuss Pegasus, Toka, and the global Israeli cyberspying network. Whitney Webb is a writer and researcher for the outlets Unlimited Hangout and The Last American Vagabond. She principally covers intelligence, technology, surveillance, and civil liberties. Between 2017 and 2020, she was also a senior investigative reporter for MintPress. Her latest article, “Meet Toka, the Most Dangerous Israeli Spyware Firm You’ve Never Heard Of,” was published by MintPress earlier this week.

Pegasus is able to attack the cellphones of targeted individuals without them realizing it, monitoring and recording their calls, texts and accessing other information stored on their devices. Dozens of human rights activists, nearly 200 journalists, several Arab royals, and more than 600 politicians are known to have had their communications spied on and compromised. Among those include French President Emmanuel Macron, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and president of Iraq, Barham Salih. Close associates of the WaPo journalist Jamal Khashoggi were also attacked and compromised just before his murder by Saudi operatives in 2018, strongly indicating that the information gleaned through Pegasus was crucial in this endeavor. NSO vehemently denied that their product was used in his assassination. Yet it also put out a statement insisting that it had no access to what its clients did with the software: two seemingly contradictory assertions.

The Pegasus story has made major waves in India, too, where it was revealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used it to spy on his political opponents in the run-up to the 2019 elections. The Indian Congress Party has accused the prime minister of committing treason. Also disclosed was that the government hacked the phone of a woman who accused the Chief Justice of India of raping her, a revelation undermining the entire justice system and the concept of a fair trial. Yet a new MintPress News investigation asserts that Pegasus is merely the tip of the Israeli cyber spying iceberg and that another piece of software, Toka, is far more dangerous and outrageous. Toka markets itself as “a one-stop hacking shop for governments that require extra capability to fight terrorists and other threats to national security in the digital domain.” The company’s software is designed to infiltrate any device connected to the internet, not just smartphones. Toka is a product of the Israeli national security state, having been co-founded by former prime minister, Ehud Barak, and was also designed by members of Unit 8200, leading Webb to suggest that it is a front for the Israeli government.

Israel’s Entryism and the Campaign to Create a Binational Security State
Lowkey, MintPress News, Jul 21 2021

The new MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations that are in the public interest to know about including intelligence, lobby, and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media. For the launch of “The Watchdog,” we examine the idea that Israel, through well-camouflaged proxies, has been making efforts to merge with the US national security state. The podcast delves deep into two organizations we deemed essential to this process of entryism. For this task, we enlisted the help of the prolific writer, researcher into intelligence, surveillance, civil liberties, and big tech on the macro and the micro-level, Whitney Webb. The first part of the podcast focuses on the IDF Unit 8200, a military intelligence unit in the Israeli Army known for monitoring Palestinian communication and using that information to blackmail them. The unit has also carried out cyber attacks on other states. Unit 8200 gave birth to the NSO Group, the supposedly private company responsible for the Pegasus Spywarewhich has recently been used around the world to target dissidents, journalists, activists, and more. The lesson which must come from this global scandal is that companies with any Unit 8200 involvement must be seriously examined. The NSO group is far from the only way in which Unit 8200 actors have been able to insinuate themselves into the business of other governments. Following a 2012 policy set by the Benjamin Netanyahu government, Israel set about siphoning the functions of its military intelligence into private companies. Former Unit 8200 members set up staff and numerous important cybersecurity companies across the world, tasked with guarding swathes of very sensitive data.

Whitney Webb explores her research by looking at Unit 8200 founded and-or staffed organizations like Cybereason, National Start-up Central, and Cyber Threat Intelligence League which between them have access to masses of information in both the US and UK. Lowkey draws a connection between Cybereason, their partner Leidos and the 2012 British census. He also delves into the recently widely referenced cybersecurity company Proofpoint, identifying for the first time the connection between this company and Unit 8200. This information is visible to both former and current employees of the Israeli government leads to a power imbalance which is allowing Israel to not only prevent any possibility of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions being practiced in the most vital sectors but also helps to create a binational security state entrenched with its interests. The second organization discussed as a key part of Israel’s entryism into the US security state is the ADL. Webb reveals some of the context around the founding of the organization over a century ago and details of its trajectory to today. Lowkey pointed out that an internal FBI memo in 1969 had questioned whether the ADL violated US law by failing to register a foreign agent and asserted that it would be “incredible” to assume it was not being furnished by the Israeli government in its infiltration activities targeting Arab-American student groups. Webb defined the ADL as “an intelligence agency posing as a civil rights organization.” She also added to Lowkey’s point that it had not only spied on Arab-American student groups but also groups like Greenpeace and those that were working to end apartheid in South Africa, they were sending information they got from these infiltrations to Mossad and the Apartheid regime. Today, the ADL is not only designated as a “trusted-flagger” by Youtube but it also has been seen to use social media posts to report people to the FBI. The ADL’s collaboration with the FBI started small in the civil rights era and has now developed to the point that the ADL is now the largest nongovernmental trainer of law enforcement in the US. It has been made clear that in Biden’s new Domestic Homeland Security policy arrangement, individuals are being flagged by the ADL, who are then directing the FBI to investigate them. The reasons for investigation as potential domestic terrorists can be as simple as an individual’s social media history. Lowkey points to the ADL campaigns against Ilhan Omar, Marc Lamont Hill and Linda Sarsour, and Webb describes the organization “as an arm of the Israel Lobby.” These two organizations must be studied critically if we are to understand the way Israel projects its power into other places, particularly in the USA.

The Ripple Effect Podcast #340
Ricky Varandas, Jul 23 2021

Whitney Webb is an independent journalist, writer, and podcaster. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute, 21st Century Wire, MintPress News & the Last American Vagabond, among others. She has made many radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism. You can find most of her work on her website, UnlimitedHangout.com.

WHITNEY WEBB
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_whitneywebb?lang=en
Website: https://UnlimitedHangout.com/
ROKFIN: https://rokfin.com/unlimitedhangout
The Last American Vagabond: https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/category/whitney-webb/
Mint Press News: https://www.mintpressnews.com/author/whitney-webb/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitneywebbwriter/

THE RIPPLE EFFECT PODCAST
WEBSITE: http://TheRippleEffectPodcast.com
PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/TheRippleEffectPodcast
PayPal: https://www.PayPal.com/paypalme/RvTheory6
MERCH Store: http://www.TheRippleEffectPodcastMerch.com
ROKFIN: https://rokfin.com/RippleEffect
Fringe.FM: https://fringe.fm/shows/the-ripple-effect-podcast/
ODYSEE/LBRY: https://odysee.com/@therippleeffectpodcast:d
BITCHUTE: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/6bOtjURD1rds/
FLOTE: https://flote.app/trepodcast
RUMBLE: https://rumble.com/c/c-745505
PARLER: https://parler.com/#/user/RvTheory6
FACEBOOK: http://on.fb.me/1KaM0Og
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/RvTheory6
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/rvtheory6/
SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/show/4lpFhHI6CqdZKW0QDyOicJ
GOOGLE PLAY/PODCASTS: https://podcasts.google.com/search/the%20ripple%20effect%20podcast
iTUNES: http://apple.co/1xjWmlF
STITCHER RADIO: http://bit.ly/1nWBXBY

THE UNION OF THE UNWANTED
LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/uotuw
RSS FEED: https://uotuw.podbean.com/
Merch Store: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/union-of-the-unwanted?ref_id=22643&utm_campaign=22643&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=Union%2Bof%2BThe%2BUnwanted
ROKFIN: https://rokfin.com/uotuw
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2u1QUbVpglxRGA-NUSO3vA
Odysee.com/LBRY.TV: https://odysee.com/@uotuw:e
Twitter: https://twitter.com/uotuw
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tuotuw/
FLOTE: https://flote.app/uotuw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.