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What Hides in the ‘Box’?

Ronen Solomon / ISRAEL DEFENSE 29/10/2013


What is hidden behind the seemingly uniform “boxes” positioned on the rooftops of US embassies in central cities around the world, which seem as “natural” construction additions? Apparently, these are means of concealment for very advanced wiretapping devices.

Researcher Ronen Solomon discovered the identical devices in an examination of photography of the rooftops of US embassies in Beijing, Dubai, Berlin, Moscow, Madrid and in Tel Aviv.

This comes after a comprehensive investigation was published by the German journal Der Spiegel, following on the revelations that the US eavesdropped on conversations conducted by senior German administration officials. According to Der Spiegel, there are cubes built on the roof of the US embassy in Berlin that appear as part of the structure, but are actually devices made of ‘soft’ materials colored white or grey. This material does not block the reception of listening devices located behind it.

After the revelation by Der Spiegel, it is revealed here for the first time based on Ronen Solomon’s findings that completely identical devices were found on the roofs of embassies in many more countries, including in Tel Aviv. In all of the cases, it seems as though the “cubes’, while appearing as part of the structure, are actually construction supplements. If the findings of Der Spiegel are correct, then the US intelligence agency’s listening devices are dispersed around the world.

Tel Aviv is no exception: in addition to the “cubes” located on the roof of the US embassy in Tel Aviv, as in other central cities, there are many other antennas in Tel Aviv that are not concealed, presumably since they are not part of intelligence wiretapping equipment.

Israeli security officials say with regards to the recent publications that they are not surprised by the revelation of the wiretappings in Germany, and that they are aware of the US wiretapping mechanism – which is also done via satellite equipment and other measures, often from a great distance. The assumption in Israel is that the US listens in on all of the conversations taking place in the Middle East, as well as in Europe, especially if they are unencrypted.

This assumption is one of the reasons why the guidelines of the Israeli defense establishment prohibit discussions classified “Top Secret” and beyond – even over phones with an encryption mechanism. Materials bearing a very high security clearance can only be passed via envelopes closed with a wax seal.

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