IDF’s imaging system offers access to top secret data

IDF’s imaging system offers access to top secret data

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Israel: The Mesuah (Beacon), a digital control-and-command system, enabled troops without proper security clearance to view detailed satellite imagery of secret army bases throughout the country. It is in widespread use among Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat soldiers in the West Bank. It was manufactured by defence electronics firm Elbit.

The system also contains maps of every zone of activity subject to the authority of the Central Command. Soldiers are also able to view high-resolution images that are clear enough so as to enable one to notice buildings, roadways and trees.

Thousands of Mesuah screens have been installed in patrol jeeps belonging to officers no lower than the rank of a company commander in addition to dozens of the army’s fixed observation towers, also known as pillboxes. Although the information transmitted to the screen is encrypted, it remains accessible to almost every combat soldier serving in the Judea and Samaria Division, including troops without the requisite security clearance.

“There is no oversight on the use of the Mesuah,” said an IDF officer currently stationed with a unit in the West Bank. “Any soldier who finds himself bored at night can play with the system and see every detail on the ground, including the most classified information. Whoever wants to photograph the images with his personal camera can do so and then send those pictures to a web site like WikiLeaks, which is just waiting to post this kind of data on the Internet. “

Source: Haaretz.com