An active Labour Party member in Ealing, West London, expressed concern on Wednesday over the hiring of a former Israeli cyber spy to monitor social media from the party leader Keir Starmer's office
LONDON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd March, 2021) An active Labour Party member in Ealing, West London, expressed concern on Wednesday over the hiring of a former Israeli cyber spy to monitor social media from the party leader Keir Starmer's office.
"I do not think the Labour Party should employ intelligence operatives of any state to monitor its social media activities. This puts the personal safety and confidential information of all of us at risk," the Labour Party member, who gave his name as Saleem, told Sputnik.
In January, London-based investigative journalist Asa Winstanley broke the story that the UK Labour Party had hired Assaf Kaplan to work in the office of Labour Party leader Keir Starmer to monitor social media discussion about the party.
According to the report published in The Electronic Intifada, an online Chicago-based publication covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Kaplan was an Israeli intelligence officer for almost five years working for Unit 8200, the Israeli military's cyberwarfare division.
"The ex-Israeli cyber-spy, who now works for the Leader of the Labour Party's Office, previously served in an Israeli military cyber-unit which is notorious for using blackmail, coercion and targeting of Palestinians because of their medical condition, sexual preferences or other private matters," Saleem said, adding that "this has been well documented by whistle-blowers who served in Unit 8200.
After stressing that a person with that sort of background should have no place in the UK Labour Party for moral and ethical reasons, he voiced concern about the personal safety of people who campaign in the party in support of Palestinian rights.
"It should also be noted that, over the last few years, the Labour Party headquarters has leaked details -to the pro-Israel press and others- of confidential disciplinary procedures being taken against party members even before those members were officially notified of investigations against them," Saleem said.
He said those breaches of confidentiality are serious enough matters, so the appointment of a former cyber spy makes things even more "disturbing."
The Labour Party leadership has so far refused to comment on the revelation made by The Electronic Intifada, which reported on Tuesday that a leading UK human rights law firm has written to Labour demanding answers on the party's hiring of Kaplan.