By Kit Klarenberg
Tel Aviv-based newspaper Haaretz has revealed how Toka, a company founded by the former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli military's cyber chief Yaron Rosen, has mastered terrifying technology capable of locating security cameras or webcams, hacking into them, monitoring their live feeds, and altering them without a trace.
Regulated by the Israeli ministry for military affairs, Toka has offices in Tel Aviv and Washington and works - currently at least - purely with state-level clients, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
The company has contracts with Tel Aviv alone valued at $6 million and is seeking to expand its operations further.
According to a company pitch deck obtained by Haaretz, Toka offers what it calls “previously out-of-reach capabilities” that “transform untapped IoT [Internet-of-Things] sensors into intelligence sources,” and can be used “for intelligence and operational needs.”
Toka’s products allow clients to “discover and access security and smart cameras,” survey a “targeted area” and “stream and control cameras” within it over time, and target cars, to “wirelessly access” and extract “car forensics and intelligence” – in other words, the location of vehicles at any time.
Most ominously of all, its clients can gather visual intelligence from both “live or recorded videos” and even “alter feeds” of “audio and visual” recordings, to allow “masking of on-site activities” during “covert operations.”
Video captures, old and new, can also be deleted, without leaving any forensic indicators or even evidence of a hack.
Such applications would no doubt be of intense interest to Mossad, the Israeli regime's notorious spying agency, which openly subscribes to a “rise and kill first” policy in respect of its enemies.
In January 2010, a 30-strong group of its operatives pulled off the daring transnational assassination of senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
The Mossad agents went to extraordinary lengths to conceal their mission, its purpose and their identities, stealing the names and passport details of innocent Australian, British, French, German, and Irish citizens and using a variety of disguises in the process.
Nonetheless, it took police in Dubai just a month to identify every one of them, and trace their steps from Israel to the United Arab Emirates and back again, using CCTV footage.
It’s not only Mossad that now has the capability to cover its tracks in this manner. Internal Toka documents reveal the governments and spying agencies of Australia, Germany, and Singapore all have access to the company’s technology.
Toka’s capabilities are particularly terrifying given that its ability to alter footage extends to manipulating content to incriminate innocent citizens or shield guilty parties.
In the Occupied Territories, this is of acute concern, given CCTV footage has been used to save falsely accused Palestinians from jail - even then, prosecuting authorities have sought to tamper with video evidence in the past.
What’s more, it’s not just CCTV that is in Toka’s firing line. In recent years, video cameras no longer simply monitor private or commercial buildings and areas, indoors and out.
They can be found affixed to the front of a growing number of homes, in most laptops and tablets, and even baby monitors. Each and every public or private looking and listening device is now an effective weapon.
Beyond facilitating Mossad assassinations, it’s unclear why Ehud Barak, who served as the Israeli regime premier between 1999 and 2001, and Labor party leader until January 2011, would have a professional interest in such technology, although his ties with notorious billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein could well be worthy of examination in this context.
Barak was a “frequent guest, almost a fixture” at Epstein’s expansive New York mansion before his mysterious death, reportedly by suicide, in 2019.
The former Israeli PM was apparently untroubled by the financier’s sexual proclivities - after the publication of a Miami Herald story in 2017, which led to criminal investigations of Epstein for rape, molestation and sex trafficking of underage girls being reopened, Barak strove to rehabilitate his image.
He approached Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist and senior counselor to Donald Trump, to assist them in a PR blitz to publicly exonerate Epstein.
Beyond their long-running friendship, Barak may have had more self-interested reasons for this intervention - he is said to have once joked to Epstein that they have “nothing to worry about,” as the secrets “are safe.”
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims to have been trafficked and pimped out by Epstein over many years, and received a vast out-of-court settlement from the financier’s now-jailed “madam” Ghislaine Maxwell, alleges Barak was one of several high-profile individuals with whom she was forced to have to have sex by Epstein.
Another was Leslie Wexner, the wealthy Victoria’s Secret owner, whose Foundation paid Barak hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2004 and 2006 for just two research papers, one of which wasn’t completed.
In January 2021, the Israeli regime's high court rejected a petition to investigate Barak for these payments.
Epstein was likewise immune from legal scrutiny for much of his life, despite his pedophilia and role as a procurer of underage girls for the rich and powerful being well-known in the elite circles in which he operated.
That he was protected in some way by spooks in the US - and elsewhere potentially - was confirmed when Alexander Acosta became President Trump’s labor secretary.
Asked upon his swearing-in why he, as Miami district attorney, had been so lenient on Epstein when he was convicted in 2008 for child sex offenses, Acosta responded: “I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.”
Witnesses and victims alike have often claimed that Epstein’s many lavish residences were equipped with hidden cameras and microphones, used to record sexual assaults and rapes by the politicians and high-profile figures he courted.
At least one source contends this footage, along with other incriminating material, was collated in personalized dossiers on these clients, for the purposes of blackmail.
If Epstein “belonged to intelligence” as alleged, then the US intelligence community likely knew and approved of his sex trafficking, and it was coordinated with them.
The billionaire’s eventual capture, and the danger his powerful paymasters could in turn be exposed too, means spooks would be wary about funding such a real-life operation again.
The CIA is known to have previously concocted various plots to implicate foreign leaders through forged sex tapes and compromising photos too.
As such, is Toka’s tech a modern means by which the intelligence community can create convincing, mocked-up kompromat on targets, with even more plausible deniability, and no risk of their activities being publicly exposed?
Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist and MintPresss News contributor exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. His work has previously appeared in The Cradle, Declassified UK, Electronic Intifada, Grayzone, and ShadowProof. Follow him on Twitter @KitKlarenberg.
(The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)
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