Israel is concerned over reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's General Communications Headquarters (GHCQ) have intercepted the email traffic of Israeli senior officials, Israeli media reported.
They intercepted the email traffic of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and then Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and later spied on the communications of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli newspaper reported on Sunday.
According to a report from the German news website Der Spiegel, and similar reports from The New York Times and The Guardian, both agencies also targeted various Israel Foreign Ministry offices across the world, it added.
This information was also based on secret documents revealed by intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Apparently, the two agencies conducted a large scale operation under the code name "Broadoak", in which they used satellite connections to intercept SMS and email communications between Israeli officials, the daily added quoting the report.
The monitoring was conducted from one of GHCQ's largest stations, that was constructed and operated with the help of American funding and is located in the town of Bude, in Cornwall, on the southwest coast of England, it said.
Government leaders and defense ministers do not seem to be very concerned by the reports; they are all under the assumption that their phones, emails and every other means of communication are under constant surveillance, interception and monitoring. For them it is just a way of life, it added.
"Wherever we are, we take into account that we are being surveilled and recorded", an official said, adding that "Whether its conversations we hold on cell phones or in hotel rooms when visiting abroad." Among the list of intercepted email addresses, the Prime Minister's Office email account was discovered. For then-Prime Minister Olmert, emails were the link between the vicinity of his office, which was considered highly confidential, and the outer world, it added.
The PMO conducts its communications with a large number of agencies in Israel and in the world through email-using email both to schedule appointments and to transfer unclassified material. The interest that US may have in this email contact is the PMO's relationship with various right-wing groups in Israel and the territories, it added.
Among the list of contacts which the Americans and the British eavesdropped, the address Ministermod.gov.il was also found, the newspaper added.