Undercover who targeted Citizen Lab over Israeli cyber-arms dealer is an ex-Israeli spook linked to black ops firm used by Harvey Weinstein

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/29/michel-almog-assoulin-lambert.html


Bad lab that makes weapons was spied on by bad guy that previously worked for rapist?

I re-read that post several times and my eyes go out of focus. I need Cliff notes.


At their lunch meeting, he read questions from cue cards of three colors that seemed to be organized by topic, explaining that at his age he needed them to keep the details straight. He held the cards in one hand, while in the other he held and awkwardly pointed a pen that appeared to contain a video recorder, Mr. Scott-Railton said.

That guy is a spy?! This is more Johnny English than James Bond.


@doctorow: you used the same New Yorker link for the bit on “smearing Soros”. When you have a moment I’d be interested to see that article, because it seems that a lot of very foolish and short-sighted Jews contributed to Orban’s anti-Semitic campaign against Soros. For example:

Thanks for this follow-up story.

The Cliff Notes version is that employees of a good lab (Citizen Lab) were spied upon by a bumbling agent (Almog-Assoulin) on behalf of an Israeli bad lab (NSO group). Said bumbling agent may or may not have been employed by Black Cube, a private security firm that employs other ex-spooks from the Mossad and that did work for a rapist, among other shady characters.


I suspect that even the ones who have gone private sector rather than remain in govenrment service would be a bit tricky to sell on doing work for Hezbollah or the like; but there doesn’t seem to be much suggesting that Israeli shady PIs and nerd mercs are all that concerned about being a PR problem(except in the weak sense that they prefer to operate under the radar).

I’m not sure what the breakdown is between ‘just don’t care’, ‘feel that their enemies are already motivated by irrational hatred so a charm offensive is a category error’; and ‘care; but assume they won’t get caught’; but the ethical flexibility and ecumenical taste in clients seems unmistakeable.

Clients seeking their services seem similarly willing to leave ethnic sentiment aside; which is why things like NSO spyware ending up being used against Saudi dissidents happens.


True, they’re not going to go to work for Hezbollah. But they do work for other right-wing populists, who inevitably start playing with anti-Semitic canards and scapegoating.

Some of it is just plain short-sighted greed (which lead to the contract with KSA) or arrogance (which you see with this clown), as you describe. But the common thread I’ve noted most often with these kinds of ultra-nationalist conservative Jews (the kinds who shill for ethnostates) is a fatal error: they believe that white nationalists consider Jews to be white as well.


I think I’ll wait until they hit $9.99.


We’re now at the point where normal people realize “threatening to sue” is the last resort tactic of someone who doesn’t have a leg to stand on legally, right?


Ah! ok Thank you.

I see. I misread the part about the lab uncovering illegal surveillance as the spy uncovered the lab was working on surveillance.

Last week, Citizen Lab and the AP published a blockbuster story revealing that Citizen Lab had been targeted by undercover operatives who pumped Lab employees for information on the group’s work uncovering illegal surveillance operations undertaken by authoritarian governments using tools made by the notorious Israeli cyber-arms dealer NSO Group.


And add a bad rendition of James Bond theme to make it all go down more smoothly.


There are security companies (not just in Israel) run by “ex”-spooks that have lucrative government contracts. I suspect they will do things for the government that the official spy agencies would not want to be caught at.


Except I imagine this spy prefers his cocktails blended, not shaken or stirred.


Are they sure it wasn’t Erran Morad?


“Now, Aharon, be sure to mention Punch cigars so he won’t think it odd when you place the Punch cigar-cam in the ashtray. Ah! We are such brilliant spies! Social engineering, my friend. And product placement!”


When is a spy not a spy? When everybody in the world knows he’s a spy.


Yes, and made with Mad Dog.

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an ex-Israeli spook

the mysterious visitor was Aharon Almog-Assoulin, a retired Israeli security official

The former makes it sound like he renounced his citizenship.

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It’s also a potentially empty threat from a company that absolutely cannot afford a discovery order. (But, on the other hand, it seems likely that they would lie like a rug if they did have to turn over discovery, so maybe they would. I dunno… )

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