The Israeli army has enlisted Israeli Internet companies to monitor social media for trigger words, according to liberal website +972 Magazine.
An unnamed former employee of one Israeli company told +972 that the firm is involved in security-based projects.
“They work with the technology branch of Israeli intelligence… they provide information in Arabic on protests or conversations that include trigger words,” said the ex-employee. “The same goes for Hebrew, of course, including information on geographical location of the users, but I am not sure just how far it extends.”
The source said that army officers entered the company where the person used to work asking to monitor the company’s systems. The officers also asked for the identities of authors, their profiles, the content of what they wrote and their location.
According to +972, army representatives held similar discussions with at least five other companies, looking to access both public and private posts made by Israelis on social media. Companies that Army Intelligence approached include Facebook and WhatsApp.
The IDF is looking for keywords in both Hebrew and Arabic, such as “boycott,” “demonstration,” “the Zionist state,” “Al-Quds” (the Arabic name for Jerusalem) or “Shaheed” (martyr). Usage of such words triggers a company’s information system to pay more attention that particular user, +972 reported.
+972 based its allegations on testimonies from employees of numerous Israeli companies. One such company is tech company Bazila. According to +972, Bazila VP Guy Mor confirmed employees’ testimony that his company works in tandem with the IDF, monitoring Hebrew-language users, particularly when they discuss boycotts of Israel. +972 also named IntuView as using a similar practice.