ISSN 2330-717X

Israeli Company Sold Internet Surveillance Software To Iran For Years – OpEd

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Bloomberg News reports that an Israeli high tech company, Allot Communications sold a web monitoring product called NetEnforcer to Iran for six years through a Danish distributor. The business news service confirmed the story through three former sales agents who said the sales were a widely known fact within the company.

Israel formally bans commerce with Iran and such sales would’ve been a violation of Israeli law and U.S. economic sanctions against that country. However, as I’ve reported here previously, this has not stopped trade between Israel and Iran. Iranian oil finds it’s way to Israel and an Israeli shipping company owned by one of Israel’s richest families, the Ofers, sold its ships to the Iranian state shipping company. This caused the U.S. government to place the Ofer company on a banned list.

In other words, profits best ideology when money is to be made by Israeli entrepreneurs. Israelis can talk about patriotic duty and wax horrified at the notion of betraying the national good through such dealings, but the facts tell a different story.

Allot’s dealings also betray the hypocrisy of the State of Israel railing against western governments for not doing enough to bring down the Iranian regime, when Israel itself is doing far less than it could on that score. And why should these same nations be cowed by Israel’s righteous indignation under such circumstances?

The Israeli high tech company claims it knew nothing about the Iranian sales and that the Danish distributor violated terms its contract if it sold to Iran. It also claims that its product cannot be used for monitoring wide scale Internet traffic in the way the Iranian government controls and suppresses free speech on the web. Bloomberg however reports that experts working for NGOs advocating freedom of access on the internet treat these claims dubiously.

So Allot faces the double whammy of violating Israel’s embargo on trade with Iran AND empowering the web police inside that country to ferret out resistance to the regime and punish it. It’s an odious record and the company’s stock fell sharply on the news.

Not a word from Bibi Netanyahu or Ehud Barak about this schandeh, though they are the country’s chief cheerleaders for an attack on Iran. Apparently, it doesn’t disturb them that one of Israel’s high-flying tech companies made a mockery of their demonization of Iran as an existential threat to their existence.

This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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