Snowden-leaked document shows U.S. and U.K. have spied on Israeli drones

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Credit: Freedom of the Press Foundation via Wikimedia Commons.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Credit: Freedom of the Press Foundation via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) U.S. and British intelligence services hacked Israeli drones and monitored their activity as part of a classified program code-named "Anarchist," the online publication The Intercept reported, citing documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The U.K.'s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) and America’s National Security Agency (NSA) spied on the drones from Cyprus to collect information about Israeli military operations in Gaza and potential strikes on Iran. They also monitored Israeli exports of drone technology worldwide.

GCHQ and NSA collected images from the drones in 2009 and 2010 through "Anarchist," a program operated from a high Royal Air Force military post located near Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus.

“This access is indispensable for maintaining an understanding of Israeli military training and operations and thus an insight to possible future developments in the region,” said a GCHQ report leaked by Snowden.

"We are not surprised, we know that the Americans are spying on the whole world, including their 'friends'. That is disappointing, because for decades we have not spied, collected intelligence or attempted to crack the encryption of the United States,” Israeli National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio on Friday.

Posted on January 29, 2016 .