The United States shares with Israel unfiltered data taken from telephone and internet communications including information on its own citizens, according to the latest leak from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to an article in the Guardian newspaper, published on Wednesday, The National Security Agency (NSA) agreed a secret deal with Israel allowing for the routine sharing of raw intelligence.
But the agreement does not require the NSA to filter and remove information belonging to US citizens, including data within emails and telephone calls. And the deal reportedly places no limits on how Israel may use the material.
The report said that the deal was reached in principle in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for the intelligence sharing.
But while the contents of emails and phone calls involving most US citizens are fair game to be collected by Israeli intelligence, elected officials are spared from international surveillance
The memo mandates that the Israelis must "destroy upon recognition" any communication "that is either to or from an official of the US government".
That pool of exempt persons is defined as "officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the Supreme Court)".
The NSA assured the British newspaper that "Any US person information that is acquired as a result of NSA's surveillance activities is handled under procedures that are designed to protect privacy rights”.