Meet the Israeli Intelligence-Linked Firm Using AI to Profile Americans and Guide US Lockdown Policy
An Israeli government contractor founded by a former Israeli spy has partnered with one U.S. state and is set to announce a series of new partnerships with other states and U.S. healthcare providers to monitor civilian health and use an IDF-designed AI system to profile Americans likely to contract coronavirus and to inform U.S. government lockdown policy.
A company tied to Israel’s military signal intelligence unit, Unit 8200, has recently partnered with the state of Rhode Island to use an artificial intelligence-based system developed in tandem with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to profile Americans potentially infected and/or “at risk” of being infected with coronavirus, then informing government authorities of their “risk profile.” Once flagged, state health officials can target those individuals as well as their communities for mandatory testing, treatment and/or more restrictive lockdown measures.
The firm, Israel-based Diagnostic Robotics, is poised to announce a series of new such partnerships with several other U.S. states as well as major U.S. hospital systems and healthcare providers in the coming weeks, according to a company spokesperson. The first of these announcements came on June 30 regarding the firm’s new partnership with Mayo Clinic, which will soon implement the Diagnostic Robotics’ “artificial intelligence platform that predicts patients’ hospitalization risk.” They have also been in discussions with Vice President Mike Pence about the platform’s implementation nationwide since April.
Their creeping expansion into the U.S.’ state coronavirus response and that of other countries has been directly facilitated by the organization Start-Up Nation Central, funded by controversial hedge fund manager Paul Singer and directly partnered with an Israeli government-backed intelligence initiative aimed at making the United States dependent on technology developed by the Israeli military or intelligence community as a means of preventing the adoption of policies that support the non-violent Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement at the state and local levels. This initiative also serves the dual purpose of ensuring Israel’s political influence and positioning as the global “cyber power,” an oft-repeated policy goal of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Since March, Diagnostic Robotics’ AI-based “risk profiling” software for coronavirus has been utilized by the Israeli state in the form of the National Israeli COVID-19 Monitoring System, a key component of its increasingly Orwellian national health surveillance system. That system, which also initially partnered with Clalit — Israel’s largest health services provider, now involves the “daily nation-wide monitoring of coronavirus-related symptoms of the population.” Of course, these “coronavirus-related symptoms” include common symptoms such as headaches, coughing, abdominal pain and confusion, which can indicate any number of minor illnesses, allergic reactions or other conditions entirely unrelated to coronavirus.
The Diagnostic Robotics platform specifically acquires information from individuals via an online questionnaire, but also has access to national and private health databases by virtue of its partnerships with Clalit as well as all four of Israel’s health management organizations (HMOs), all of the country’s domestic healthcare providers and Israel’s Health Ministry. That data is then pooled and analyzed to assess a given individual’s “probability of infection” that is then cross checked with the information of “millions of others,” according to the company’s co-founder and Unit 8200 alumnus Kira Radinsky.
After that mass of data is pooled and analyzed by the platform’s AI-powered algorithm, the company’s platform, as used in Israel and now elsewhere, creates a “personalized, AI-based risk profile for Covid-19” for individuals and delivers that individual’s information and any “red flags” to health authorities, providing the Health Ministry with a map of corona “hot spots” that the government then uses to identify which communities to target with testing and more restrictive lockdown measures. Forbes noted that Israel’s use of Diagnostic Robotics’ platform has allowed it to “quickly close contaminated areas…as fast as a single day from the identification of symptomatic patients.” An internal study conducted by the company itself claims that the platform has a predictive accuracy of 73%, but their study has not been audited by independent scientists.
Israel’s health ministry, led by Yuli Edelstein, recently announced that Diagnostic Robotics “predictive” platform would be used more intensively to inform government decision-making as he, Netanyahu and other Israeli ministers have recently asserted that Israel is beginning to experience a “second wave” of coronavirus and must implement more restrictive measures and augment the use of existing and new “digital solutions.” Former Israeli health officials and other critics have asserted, however, that there is no “second wave” given that the test used by the government does not distinguish between active and inactive coronavirus cases. Others still have argued that the proposed measures are grossly unnecessary, given that there are less than 40 serious cases of coronavirus in the entire country and only 22 coronavirus patients are on ventilators.
Notably, the timing of this renewed push for more restrictive lockdowns and an expansion of its AI-driven Orwellian “health” surveillance coincides directly with the imminent initiation of Israel’s government plans to annex large swaths of Palestine’s West Bank, an act that is expected to generate unrest, not only in occupied Palestine, but also parts of Israel and internationally due to its flagrant illegality and far-reaching implications.
PREDICTIVE DATA HOTSPOTS
After heavy promotion of Israel’s use of its platforms by media outlets and Israeli tech “advocacy” organizations, Diagnostic Robotics’ top executives announced on April 10 that their predictive health surveillance technology would soon be rolled out to “assist authorities” in governments around the world, specifically the U.S., Western Europe and Asia.
“The strong partnership [between Diagnostic Robotics and the Israeli government] will ensure that our solution is accessible to as many patients as possible, and available to different government authorities in the United States, Europe and Asia,” the company’s CEO Yonatan Amir had told the Jerusalem Post. Amir also told the Jerusalem Post that, at the time, the company was already in discussions with the White House Coronavirus Task Force “with the assistance of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence” about its software being used on a nationwide scale.
Less than two weeks after the publication of that report, the state of Rhode Island announced that the state’s Health Department would partner with Diagnostic Robotics to create a site called the Rhode Island Covid-19 Self-Checker that would collect medical information on Rhode Island residents and utilize its “predictive” capabilities.
“We are incredibly excited about the partnership with Diagnostic Robotics,” Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo had said at the time of the site’s announcement on April 22. “Diagnostic Robotics is a leader in using innovative technology to ensure people get the right care at the right time – including during the COVID-19 pandemic. By making it easier for people to make decisions about how to protect themselves and when to seek care and testing, we’re helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, support our healthcare system, and save lives.”
However, reports on the initiative and Raimondo’s statement, which was sparsely covered by local and national American news media, noted that the site “also uses predictive technology to recognize possible outbreaks before they occur.” That functionality will combine the data obtained from the site with “medical databases” to which the state’s Health Department has access. The analysis of these data, such as “likely” future coronavirus patients and potential future hotspots, is then given to the state’s Health Department and meant to inform their decision-making regarding in which areas of the state to tighten lockdowns, to ramp up testing and/or mandate treatments or vaccinations, once a vaccine becomes available.
Crucially, Rhode Island’s partnership with Diagnostic Robotics’ is merely the first sign of the company’s intentions to rapidly expand into the U.S. A few weeks ago, company spokesperson Michal Kabatznik told the Jerusalem Post that the company is “in advanced conversations with other states, leading healthcare providers and some of the top hospital systems in the U.S.,” adding that “there will be some big announcements in the coming days.” The first of these “big announcements” came on Tuesday when the firm’s partnership with Mayo Clinic was made public.
In addition, the company began hiring a variety of executive positions for a New York-based office soon after Kabatznik teased the coming announcements of a series of new U.S. partnerships. These job listings note that Diagnostic Robotics’ is planning a major and “rapid” U.S. expansion and identifies the U.S. as its current “strategic market.”
BAIT AND SWITCH
The first of these initiatives, COVID 360, was created by Diagnostic Robotics in tandem with two other companies: Salesforce, a cloud-based software corporation closely tied to Oracle and whose CEO/founder was mentored by Colin Powell, and Deloitte Global, one of the world’s largest consulting firms with a history of hiring ex-CIA officers. COVID 360 is described by Diagnostic Robotics’ CEO as “a comprehensive solution for individuals at risk of COVID-19 and those experiencing symptoms of the virus.” Salesforce Senior VP, Bob Vanstraelen, further elaborated that the platform is “a free full Coronavirus treatment solution for patients and citizens at risk” and is “built by Deloitte Israel, based on Salesforce Health-Cloud, and Diagnostics Robotics Al triage and clinical predictions platform.”
However, an official video from the COVID 360 initiative notes that “government agencies or caretakers” that utilize the system will send a person potentially at risk of exposure to coronavirus, oddly referred to in the video as a “coronavirus patient at risk of exposure,” a message telling them that they were found to have been “in proximity to a potential positive coronavirus case.” The message, as shown in the video, then demands that the recipient follow a link within the message and register for the COVID 360 system. Upon registration, an employee of the government agency determines which person to refer for mandatory coronavirus testing and/or treatment regimes based on government-drafted protocols related to coronavirus. The COVID 360 system is currently being used in India’s Odisha state, home to nearly 50 million people, according to Diagnostic Robotics spokesperson Michal Kabatznik.
The second initiative of which Diagnostic Robotics is part is much larger than the three member group behind COVID 360. Called the Covid-19 Healthcare Coalition, its members include tech giants and government/intelligence contractors Microsoft, Amazon, Palantir, Leidos, and Google as well as a number of U.S. national laboratories, the U.S. civilian corps and the CIA’s venture capital arm In-Q-Tel. It also includes a number of U.S. hospital systems, U.S. universities (with MIT chief among them) and healthcare IT providers, as well as pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Mayo Clinic. As previously mentioned, Mayo Clinic’s partnership with Diagnostic Robotics was announced just this past Tuesday.
The coalition claims to be a “private-sector led response that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia and startups” in order “help protect U.S. populations” and “provide data-driven, real-time insights to improve clinical outcomes” and government decision-making related to coronavirus. Their website notes that “coalition members openly share plans, coordinate their combined work wherever possible, identify best practices, communicate broadly and openly, and distribute capabilities in an open-source manner.” Notably, the coalition specifically directs their combined efforts to influence policy for “healthy populations,” “people at risk of Covid-19 exposure,” and “healthcare delivery systems.”
According to press releases present on the coalition’s website, the coalition “represents a vast source of data, expertise, capabilities and insights and will complement federal, state and local government actions.” Since their formation earlier this year, the coalition has released several resources, including the Covid-19 Decision Support Dashboard, a tool for government officials and business leaders to navigate how to “reopen” or lock down communities and businesses. That tool was designed by and populated with data provided by coalition members, Diagnostic Robotics among them.
DIAGNOSTIC ROBOTICS’ ROOTS IN ISRAELI SPY TECH “SPECIAL OPS”
Diagnostic Robotics was founded in 2017 by Kira Radinksy, Dr. Moshe Shaham and Yonatan Amir, all of whom officially met through their affiliation (visiting professor/alumnus, professor and alumnus, respectively) at Israel’s Technion University. The company was originally intended to help hospital emergency rooms gauge and predict patient load through the use of AI, ostensibly allowing an emergency room to make preparations in advance that would allow them to manage patient load and prioritize patients, among other features.
It was reportedly Amir’s idea to pivot the platform for use in combating the coronavirus crisis, with the company modifying the platform to serve as a “one-stop shop for managing the disease, an end-to-end centralized solution for Covid-19 treatment,” according to company spokesperson Michal Kabatznik. He also added that the modifications were initially made using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidance and data received from Italy and South Korea.
The company then reached out to Israel’s Health Ministry and made further modifications in order to supply Israel’s government with a “relevant platform.” Many of those modifications came courtesy of the IDF, which – according to company co-founder Radinsky – “made our algorithms part of a large operational system that had to function smoothly in less than 2 weeks.” The resulting “operational system” was the company’s National Israeli COVID-19 Monitoring System, now in use in all of Israel and much of occupied Palestine. That same system, as previously mentioned, is also the model for the Rhode Island system and those set to be implemented in other states that are slated to imminently announce their own partnerships with Diagnostic Robotics.
Radinsky’s involvement in founding Diagnostic Robotics, and her current role as the company’s chairwoman and chief technology officer (CTO), is particularly noteworthy. Her career began at Israel’s military signal intelligence unit, Unit 8200 – often described as Israel’s equivalent of the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA) that is well known for its hacking operations and surveillance of Palestine as well as foreign countries around the world, including the United States. During her time in Unit 8200, she was recruited for the unit’s even more secretive and controversial division, Unit 81, where she worked in “special operations.”
Unit 81, specifically has been described by supporters as an “intelligence toy factory,” whose “toys” have included land mines disguised as rocks and other weapons of war as well as tools of mass surveillance (i.e. “signals intelligence”). In the early days of the coronavirus crisis, Unit 81 was tasked by Israel’s Defense Ministry with creating “software for hospitals that can store and analyze patient data, infection tracking, test results, providing hospitals with data to help them make sense of what they’re seeing and how best to combat the everyday challenge,” software that sounds remarkably similar to the platform that Radinsky’s Diagnostic Robotics would subsequently produce with help from an unspecified unit of the Israeli military.
Radinsky was quickly recruited by Microsoft upon leaving Unit 8200 and Unit 81 to “lead strategic Microsoft incubation projects,” including algorithms to predict disease outbreaks as well as civil unrest and riots. She then created her own company, SalesPredict, which was staffed by other Unit 8200 alumni and later acquired by eBay, owned by controversial billionaire Pierre Omidyar. Radinsky subsequently became eBay’s Director of Data Science and Chief Scientist of its branch in Israel.
One month after obtaining this lucrative position at eBay, Radinsky became an advisory board member to the bank HSBC, one of the most notorious money laundering banks in the world with close ties to drug cartels, particularly in Mexico and Colombia. Less than a year after joining HSBC, Radinsky became a board member of the Israeli government’s Securities Authority, which works closely with the country’s Finance Ministry and the Knesset. It has been criticized in recent years of “tacitly consenting” to widespread forex and binary options scams in Israel’s financial industry. After becoming Diagnostic Robotics’ CTO, she left the Israel Securities Authority but continues to maintain her position on HSBC’s advisory board.
Radinsky’s close ties to the world of Israeli and global finance were likely a factor in Diagnostic Robotics’ ability to secure $24 million in funding last November, the same month when the U.S. government warned Israel of an imminent global pandemic caused by coronavirus. Since then, the lead investors in the company have been Accelmed Growth Partners and Mivtach Shamir Holdings.
Accelmed Growth Partners is a venture capital firm founded and led by Dr. Uri Geiger, a former Israeli Air Force officer whose private-sector career began at the notorious law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, best known as the former law firm of the CIA’s first director Allen Dulles that has long-standing ties to the intelligence agency.
Mivtach Shamir Holdings is a venture capital firm whose CEO and main shareholder is Meir Shamir, long-time chairman of Birthright Israel. Birthright Israel is one of the most notable “ethno-philanthropic” endeavors of the Mega Group, the organized crime-linked organization co-founded by Leslie Wexner and Charles Bronfman in 1991 with close ties to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and Israeli espionage scandals in general. Birthright was created by Mega Group members Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt three years after the group was founded and its main donors include the Bronfmans, Steinhardt, Israel’s government and Sheldon Adelson.
A FOREIGN MINISTRY FOR ISRAEL’S TECH INDUSTRY
One of the earliest promoters of Diagnostic Robotics and its coronavirus-related initiatives is an organization called Start-Up Nation Central (SUNC). SUNC was created in 2012 with funding from billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, a fervent Zionist who also funds the neoconservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Islamophobic and hawkish think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), and also funded the now-defunct Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a successor to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).
Singer funded the organization into existence with the help of his long-time associate, former Mitt Romney advisor and neoconservative activist Dan Senor, whose sister Wendy Singer is currently SUNC’s executive director. She was previously the long-time head of AIPAC’s Israel office. SUNC’s current CEO is Eugene Kandel, Netanyahu’s chief economic advisor from 2009 to 2015.
The motivation behind the creation of SUNC was aimed at integrating Israeli start-ups, specifically tech start-ups created by former Unit 8200 alumni, into foreign and specifically American companies as a means of targeting the non-violent Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that promotes human rights for Palestinians and the end of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. It has been called “a foreign ministry for Israel’s tech industry.”
SUNC’s creation was also directly related to Benjamin Netanyahu’s “deliberate policy” to have former members of Israel’s “military and intelligence units … merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners” in order to make it all but impossible for major corporations and foreign governments to boycott Israel and to also to ensure that Israel becomes the world’s dominant “cyber power.” Singer is a long-time supporter and donor to Netanyahu and his ruling Likud party.
The same year as SUNC’s creation and this “deliberate” policy of Netanyahu, Israeli intelligence – which directly answer to the Prime Minister’s office – began instituting a policy where military intelligence and intelligence operations that had previously done “in house” (i.e. as part of Unit 8200, Mossad, etc.) were spun off into private companies, specifically start-ups.
For instance, a report on this policy, published by Israeli outlet Calcalist Tech, interviewed dozens of Israeli military, intelligence and government officials and noted that “since 2012, cyber-related and intelligence projects that were previously carried out in-house in the Israeli military and Israel’s main intelligence arms are transferred to companies that in some cases were built for this exact purpose.” The article also states that beginning in 2012, Israel’s intelligence and military intelligence agencies began to outsource “activities that were previously managed in-house, with a focus on software and cyber technologies.”
Since this policy was instituted, the line between Israel’s tech start-up industry and its intelligence apparatus has become increasingly blurred, with former Mossad and Shin Bet directors serving as advisors and board members to numerous Israeli tech start-ups. In addition, many executives and founders of these start-ups are alumni of Unit 8200 or other intelligence agencies, with some – such as Cybereason’s CEO Lior Div – openly admitting that their work at these “private” companies are a direct continuation of their prior service to Israel’s national security state.
Unsurprisingly, Diagnostic Robotics – a company partnered with Israel’s military and Health Ministry and created by a Unit 8200 alumnus – fits the profile of the type of Israeli firm whose expansion abroad is facilitated by SUNC and is represented on SUNC’s website. Indeed, Wendy Singer of SUNC recently authored an article for Forbes praising the company’s predictive population health surveillance tool and was interviewed alongside Radinksy in a Times of Israel report highlighting Israeli start-ups and technologies set to be used to combat the country’s alleged “second wave” of infections.
In addition, Diagnostic Robotics is one of the company’s promoted by the CoronaTech initiative, a joint effort between SUNC and HealthIL – part of a joint venture involving the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Social Equality. In addition, the CoronaTech website is managed by Wix – a website building company created by a former Unit 8200 alumnus. CoronaTech’s stated purpose is to act “as a central gateway to discover leading Israeli innovation and best practices” “for healthcare providers, governments and other organizations.”
UNOFFICIAL USES, GUARANTEED OUTCOMES
Diagnostic Robotics’ co-founder’s ties to Israeli intelligence, the company’s backing by a Mega Group-linked venture capital firm and its close partnerships with the Israeli government, military and SUNC, are all causes for concern regarding their coronavirus-specific system’s use to monitor populations both in Israel and now in the United States. However, their partnerships with Rhode Island and Mayo Clinic, as well as those slated to be announced in the coming days and weeks, are particularly troubling given Israel’s aggressive history of espionage against the United States that has been on-going for decades, much of which has been conducted through “backdoors” in software products, hacking and other means of electronic infiltration.
Many of these intelligence operations – which, more often that not, combine Unit 8200, SUNC and the Israeli government – have also appeared to have the added purpose, not just of preventing victories for the BDS movement or ensuring Israel’s position as a global “cyber power,” but also advancing the creation of what I have come to call the “binational security state.” This agenda, in the age of coronavirus, has grown by leaps and bounds. Examples include how Israeli spy-linked tech firms are set to construct New York state’s “smart cities,” dominate the U.S.’ 911 emergency call system and offer “remote government” options to federal and state agencies, all in the months since the coronavirus crisis first began in earnest.
Many of these Israeli spy-linked tech firms also include members of the U.S.’ national security state and intelligence communities as board members or prominent advisors, including former heads of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff and Kirstjen Nielsen; former chief information security officer for the CIA, Robert Bigman; and former member of the U.S. Military’s Joint Special Operations Command, Geoff Hancock, among many others. Together, the national security states of both the U.S. and Israel have been steadily constructing an Orwellian nightmare in both countries, a nightmare that has become closer to reality than ever before under the guise of “healthcare” and combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Diagnostic Robotics’ efforts to predict and monitor entire populations with AI is a potent tool that can be used for many purposes that have little to do with public health. Much like “contact tracing” software that was first justified by the pandemic has subsequently been used to target and track protesters, Diagnostic Robotics’ predictive analytics and “hotspot” maps can be used for the same ends. Given the track record of the national security states of both the U.S. and Israel, such “unofficial” uses of these “digital solutions” to the pandemic are not just speculative, they are guaranteed.