When spying on the world used to be a problem: the good old days

by Jon Rappoport

June 30, 2022

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At one time, circa 2013, spying on everybody was considered outrageous. Now it’s “necessary.”

I’m reprinting my article from 2013 below. But first, a quick bit of history concerning two little known Israeli companies, Narus and Verint. They have helped the NSA spy on the planet.

Narus, in 2010, was folded into Boeing, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. Then, in 2014, Boeing sold Narus to Symantec. In 2016, Symantec sold half of itself to the notorious Carlyle Group. So Narus, a little engine that could, has been keeping very high-priced company.

Verint has managed to retain its independence, after buying out the majority stake of Comverse Technology, its former owner, in 2013.

Okay, here we go—from this point on, everything was written in 2013:

2013. Boom. Explosive revelations. The NSA is using telecom giants to spy on anybody and everybody, in a program called PRISM.

But the information is not new.

Three books have been written about the super-secret NSA, and James Bamford has written them all.

In 2008, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Bamford as his latest book, The Shadow Factory, was being released.

Bamford explained that, in the 1990s, everything changed for NSA. Previously, they’d been able to intercept electronic communications by using big dishes to capture what was coming down to Earth from telecom satellites.

But with the shift to fiber-optic cables, NSA was shut out. So they devised new methods.

For example, they set up a secret spy room at an AT&T office in San Francisco. NSA installed new equipment that enabled them to tap into the fiber-optic cables and suck up all traffic.

How Bamford describes this, in 2008, tells you exactly where the PRISM program came from:

“NSA began making these agreements with AT&T and other companies, and that in order to get access to the actual cables, they had to build these secret rooms in these buildings.

“So what would happen would be the communications on the cables would come into the building, and then the cable would go to this thing called a splitter box, which was a box that had something that was similar to a prism, a glass prism.

“And the prism was shaped like a prism, and the light signals would come in, and they’d be split by the prism. And one copy of the light signal would go off to where it was supposed to be going in the telecom system, and the other half, this new cloned copy of the cables, would actually go one floor below to NSA’s secret room.

“… And in the secret room was equipment by a private company called Narus, the very small company hardly anybody has ever heard of that created the hardware and the software to analyze these cables and then pick out the targets NSA is looking for and then forward the targeted communications onto NSA headquarters.”

In James Bamford’s 2008 interview, he mentions two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, that almost nobody knew about. They played a key role in developing and selling the technology that allowed NSA to deploy its PRISM spying program:

Bamford: “Yeah. There’s two major — or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the — basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.

“So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature — I read this literature from Verint, for example — is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, ‘We specialize in mass surveillance,’ and that’s what they do.

“They put [this] mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these [two Israeli] companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.”

AMY GOODMAN: “Now, Jim Bamford, take this a step further, because you say the founder and former CEO of one of these companies [Verint] is now a fugitive from the United States somewhere in Africa?”

JAMES BAMFORD: “…the company that Verizon uses, Verint, the founder of the company, the former head of the company, is now a fugitive in — hiding out in Africa in the country of Namibia, because he’s wanted on a number of felony warrants for fraud and other charges. And then, two other top executives of the company, the general counsel and another top official of the parent company, have also pled guilty to these charges.

“So, you know, you’ve got companies — these [two] companies have foreign connections with potential ties to foreign intelligence agencies, and you have problems of credibility, problems of honesty and all that. And these companies — through these two companies pass probably 80 percent or more of all US communications at one point or another.

“And it’s even — gets even worse in the fact that these companies also supply their equipment all around the world to other countries, to countries that don’t have a lot of respect for individual rights —- Vietnam, China, Libya, other countries like that. And so, these countries use this equipment to filter out dissident communications and people trying to protest the government. It gives them the ability to eavesdrop on communications and monitor dissident email communications. And as a result of that, people are put in jail, and so forth…”

AMY GOODMAN: “And despite all of this…these telecom companies still have access to the most private communications of people all over America and actually, it ends up, around the world. And at the beginning of the summer [2008], the Democrats and Republicans joined together in granting retroactive immunity to these companies for spying on American citizens.”

The fugitive CEO of Verint, whom Bamford mentions, is Jacob “Kobi” Alexander. In 2006, the US Dept. of Justice charged him with conspiring to commit securities and wire and mail fraud. The SEC weighed in and filed similar civil charges.

Alexander fled to Namibia, where he finally settled with the SEC for $46 million. In 2017, he returned to the US, where he was sentenced to the 30 months in prison.

He is no longer the CEO of Verint.

It’s obvious that these two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, working for NSA, have been able to divert mega-tons of data to Israeli intelligence.

The recent media stories on this NSA PRISM spying system indicate that NSA is tapping into the servers of huge tech companies; Google, AOL, Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Yahoo. The methods of data theft may have expanded, but the result and intent remain the same.

The government-corporate juggernaut moves ahead. Their rationale—catching terrorists—is, in great part, a cover story to obscure the fact that the State wants control over the lives of all citizens, as it ratchets up the very conditions that provoke rebellion.

It’s a classic pincer movement.

As far as the current NSA PRISM spying is concerned, look for limited hangouts. These are partial admissions and excuses, offered to conceal greater crimes and stop investigations.

The giant tech companies already have their limited hangout in place: “We didn’t know it was happening, we would never have allowed it to happen, and we’ll be much more careful in the future.”

Obama is saying: Yes, let’s have dialogue on this matter…there’s a fine line between national security needs and overweening intrusion into citizens’ privacy.

The NSA is saying: We do spy, but we don’t read content of emails and phone calls. We just keep ‘records’ of the communications.

The lies lying liars tell.

(Episode 13 of Rappoport Podcasts — “The Real President” — is now posted on my substack. It’s a blockbuster. To listen, click here. To learn more about This Episode of Rappoport Podcasts, click here.)

The Matrix Revealed

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

To read Jon’s articles on Substack, click here.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

11 comments on “When spying on the world used to be a problem: the good old days

  1. ReluctantWarrior says:

    As the days go by I am becoming more and more convinced that ‘Red’ States should explore the possibility of joining the BRICS coalition that is in the process of building a multi-polar world with a new more equitable economy. Many countries are considering joining the most recent of which are Uruguay and Argentina. States that choose to opt out of the Western financial system could join the BRICS.

  2. marlene says:

    “Over the past decade, the human microbiome – consisting of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on every one of us – has become increasingly important to criminal investigators as they’ve realized that we all leave traces of our unique microbial evidence wherever we go” Take out the words “criminal investigation” and replace them with “microbiome spying” Gregory Dutton, a physical scientist at NIJ, joins science writer Jim Dawson to discuss the microbiome

  3. Paul says:

    “It’s a classic pincer movement.”

    And then there’s
    The Summer-of-2008. Dems/Reps
    Granting for a shot of
    “retroactive immunity.”

    Goodness !
    When will it stop.

    What did Chuck S.
    Say about 6 ways,
    & Sundays…

  4. Jim S. Smith says:

    Add to that: “OPERATION CABLE SPLICER”, “CARNIVORE”, and all kinds of other “programs and operations” – and you have the entirety of “government” involved.

    The US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (through “DARPA”) have also been researching, to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars, means and methods of “improving their INFORMATIONAL/SITUATIONAL AWARENESS” protocols.

    “Privacy” really has become a “thing of the past”.


    Not even our own minds will be inviolate!

  5. Roundball Shaman says:

    “At one time… spying on everybody was considered outrageous. Now it’s ‘necessary.’”

    One of the best ways to determine if something is ‘necessary’ is to turn the thing around in the other direction and see if that also works.

    OK… someone wants it codified into law and civil intercourse that We the People must continuously be spied upon now and forevermore. Well…

    Turn that around. Can We the People then have the right to spy on ‘Those Who Think They Have a divine Right To Spy On Us Forever’?

    What would They say to that?


    Or, really? So that’s how it works?

    Says WHO?

    In what Holy Book is that written?

    In what traditional of societal and civil interaction has that ever been an acceptable and healthy idea?

    That would be… NEVER.

    And it’s not healthy and acceptable now, either.

    Where does this kind of thinking stop? Well, it doesn’t.

    Do They have a right to watch us being tender with our special Someone?

    Do They have a right to see us doing our business in the bathroom?

    Do They have a right to see us sharing our most intimate thoughts with family and friends around the World?

    Do They have a right to pilfer Industrial and Trade secrets?

    Just because a person is coerced into surrendering their genitals to public inspection and ridicule at the Airport for the great privilege of being crammed into a smelly tin can
    piloted by an overworked pilot who hates his Airline as we are yelled at and scrutinized by various Karens and Kens and filmed everywhere for several hours does NOT mean that everything else has to be surrendered.

    And if it DOES mean this… then we are not human being any more. We have stopped being human… forever. We are just ‘Things’ to be picked at… looked at… laughed at… scrutinized… catalogued… pigeon-holed… and abused.

    And again… in what Society in history has that ever been a winning strategy?

    Who knew the Old East Germans were going to take over the World. By a bigger group that puts the tactics of the Old East Germans to shame.

  6. A Reader emailed me the following comment:


    I live in Alaska and our globalist governor just hired Ellie Rubenstein who’s father is the co founder of the Carlyle Group and chairman of the CFR.

    I find this woman suspicious,obviously. Do you have any information on the Carlyle group?

  7. A Reader emailed me the following comment:


    Liars lie; that’s what they do, and that’s why they are called liars. They actually have the gall to try to legitimize their lies by lying to cover their other lies. After all, it is for the safety and good of all American citizens, don’t cha know. Riiiiiight, and covid is real, too…ain’t it?!?!?

  8. A Reader emailed me the following comment:


    Then the USA has the gall to say that Huawei contains spyware when it doesn’t and is banned from USA.

    Then all puppet countries like Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, go along with the lie as they always do.

    There was an independent study done by a company who found no spyware in Huawei equipment.

    Huawei got kicked out just because it was an amazing Chinese product and the American government was jealous.

    My own country of Canada kicked out Huawei and 4500 employees lost their jobs.

    Canada illegally kidnapped the daughter of Huawei founder and imprisoned her for 3 long years in Vancouver with an ankle bracelet on her as if she were a criminal.

    In the end they couldn’t prove she had done any harm at all and were forced to let her go.

    The lies of the US government and of their puppet allies go on and on….the Xingjjiang lie, the Hong Kong lies, etc.

    USA is out to destroy China, Russia, any country that makes progress, because they ‘have to be number one’ in the world.

    It is almost as if the US government were a mentally ill paranoid schizophrenic because that is how Congress behaves.

  9. Peter Harter says:

    Eventually, people will recognize that owning stock in a stock company is usury. It’s a sin. They won’t believe it until the stock market is nil, however. For 500 years the stock company has been doing evil. It’s always drugs and slaves. Always. Trading slaves. Slaves making tennis shoes. Slaves making drugs. Shipping drugs. Slaves and drugs. The stockholder (usurer) expects unethical behavior from the corporations. The CEO expects to go to jail.

  10. Saeger says:

    That people were so willing to jump on ‘smart’ phones, and ignore many obvious cons and incursions on us is lack of sense of danger. When supposed govmt or state cons spy, and there is no privacy, and tyrants dictate things you don’t agree with, how do you stop them if you can’t plan in privacy. People ignore how vile the cons are, now it’s ‘red flag’ laws’, which are an incursion in presuming to ‘assess’, scribbled by predators. Seeing things as they are is required, so is focus where we live. Appreciate the post Jon, it’s a subject that’s core.

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