Owner of Israeli phone surveillance, hacking and ‘software intelligence’ operation buys Maltese passport/EU citizenship

Published: August 21, 2016 at 1:57pm

Anatoly Hurgin, 58, an Israeli who is chairman and CEO of the software intelligence and consulting company which he owns, Ability Inc, has bought Maltese passports/EU citizenship for himself, his wife Karina, and his sons Daniel and Igor. The total bill for EU citizenship for this Israeli family of five was €750,000: €650,000 for him, €50,000 for her, and €25,000 each for their two sons.

Their names are on the list published in the Malta Government Gazette of 2 August. The Hurgin family live in Tel Aviv.

Hurgin is also CEO of sister companies Ability Computers & Software Industries Ltd and Active Intelligence Labs Ltd. His businesses specialise in phone-hacking and cutting-edge surveillance technology.

His boast is that “with just a few million dollars and a phone number, you can snoop on any call or text that phone makes – no matter where you are or where the device is located”. Read more about it here.

Last November, when he was already a new Maltese citizen, Hurgin launched the Unlimited Interception System, which for the price of several million dollars allows you to spy on people’s location, their phone calls and text messages, wherever they are in the world. The system is able to locate targets and snoop on calls and texts while bypassing the cellular networks.

The American Civil Liberties Union has warned that this system allows police services to bypass the need to gain information from network providers by means of a judicial warrant. Nathan Wessler, staff attorney at the Union, told Forbes: “This system means that law enforcement will have the ability to conduct wiretaps and location tracking without anybody scrutinising what they’re doing, and nobody may have the opportunity to push back and demand appropriate legal process. There is a significance to cutting the phone companies out of that transaction, because it makes it trivially easy to totally bypass the legal protections that are required under the U.S. Constitution and federal law.”

Anatoly Hurgin is now trying to sell the system to US law enforcement. He told Forbes: “”You cannot just ignore such a huge market. It’s about half of the world market for our kind of technology.”

Hurgin, who is of Russian extraction, started Ability Inc in 1994 with Russian citizen Alexander Aurovsky. Before that, Hurgin had spent many years in the Israeli defence forces, but would not tell Forbes which division.

He hopes that by next month (September), his system will be able to intercept internet traffic, including web and app use, but “can’t make any promises” about encrypted data.

Anatoly Hurgin

Anatoly Hurgin