In today's day and age, cyberespionage is nothing new. I've told you about countless attacks against U.S. government agencies and businesses perpetrated by groups associated with China and Russia. But, there's another country that's spying on the U.S. on a large scale, too, and it's a close ally.
According to top secret documents, Israel conducts spying against the U.S. In fact, one report states that Russia and China are the only countries that spy on the U.S. more than Israel.
The relationship between the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is strained and The Wall Street Journal recently published a story accusing Israel of spying on U.S. negotiations with Iran based on reports leaked by the White House. Netanyahu has denied those claims and stated that Israel does not spy on the U.S., but NSA documents claim otherwise.
One top-secret 2008 document features an interview with the NSA’s Global Capabilities Manager for Countering Foreign Intelligence, entitled “Which Foreign Intelligence Service Is the Biggest Threat to the US?” He repeatedly names Israel as one of the key threats.
The U.S. and Israel do have an intelligence sharing relationship with Israel, but some documents shows that some in the NSA think Israel gets a lot more out of the relationship than the U.S. And, despite this seemingly cooperative intelligence relationship, the U.S. views Israel as a threat behind the scenes.
The same budget document reveals that the CIA regards Israel — along with Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and Cuba — as a “priority threat country,” one against which it “conduct[s] offensive [counter-intelligence] operations in collaboration with DoD”
This isn't the first time news has broke about Israel spying on the U.S. and other foreign governments. In the past, the country has been accused of spying on Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace talks and hacking into French presidential palace.