Admiral (Ret.) Mike Rogers, former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), made a controversial career move last October when he opted to join the Board of Advisors of Team8: Unit 8200’s largest cyber-security start-up front in the United States.
Unit 8200 is a division of Israeli military intelligence founded in 1952 that is today focused on cyber-security.
Aiming to empower enterprises to build resilience in the face of cyber attackers, Team8 builds cybersecurity companies from ideation to execution, leveraging the team’s expertise of former leaders of Israel’s elite technology & intelligence Unit 8200.
Sometimes referred to as Israeli SIGINT National Unit, or ISNU, it is equivalent to Israel’s NSA—excluding scale. Unit 8200 members are heavily involved in stateside start-ups, despite almost exclusively being former foreign intelligence officers.
Unit 8200 is widely believed to be one of the agencies responsible for Stuxnet.
As a senior advisor, Rogers will capitalize on his unique grasp of technology trends, the cyber threat landscape and the evolving tactics and tools used by cyber attackers to provide invaluable insight to both Team8’s existing portfolio companies and those currently in development. Team8 opened its New York headquarters in September 2017 and Mike Rogers will be instrumental in helping strategize their US expansion.
Co-founded by former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander Nadav Zafrir, Team8 is focused on the development and deployment of start-ups—which tend to then be absorbed by larger corporations.
Rogers conducted an interview alongside Zafrir on CNBC.
Other employees at the NSA have subsequently criticized Roger’s decision, while Rogers has also been heralded for his involvement in putting a halt to Obama-era FISA queries, including by radio host Dan Bongino at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information – specifically outside contractors working for the FBI. The discovery that outside contractors were accessing raw FISA data is probably the event that precipitated Rogers ordering a full compliance review (Page 84 of Court Ruling).
On April 18, 2016, both the FBI and DOJ’s NSD become aware of Rogers’ compliance review. They may have known earlier but they were certainly aware after outside contractor access was halted.
Roger's activities regarding FISA also revolved around a meeting with Unit 8200, in March of 2016, while meeting with the head of the group. The meeting was stated to be in regards to combating (War?) Hezbollah and Iran.
In March of 2016, NSA Director Rogers became aware of improper access to raw FISA data (Page 83 of Court Ruling).
In light of recent revelations about Psy Group, an Israeli private intelligence company, it is also worth mentioning that Unit 8200 is similarly known for malign or offensive tactics—especially in operations conducted against Palestinians.
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