CIA secretly owned the largest cryptographic technology provider

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Crypto AG, which was liquidated only in 2018, and for decades supplying cryptographic solutions to governments around the world, has been owned by the CIA and West German intelligence all this time. About it writes The Washington Post, whose journalists conducted an investigation together with colleagues from the German public broadcasting company ZDF.

As follows from the publication of the publication, the Swiss Crypto AG, which started its business during the Second World War, was one of the largest global suppliers of hardware and software solutions for encrypted communications throughout the second half of the 20th century. Among her clients at different times were the governments of 120 countries, including Iranian Islamic revolutionaries, Latin American juntas, threatening each other with nuclear weapons India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

At the same time, as it turned out during the investigation, the real owners of Crypto AG for a long time were the CIA and intelligence in West Germany. They did not hesitate to make bookmarks in the sold encryption devices, which then made it easy to read the correspondence of foreign partners. The proceeds from the sale went to finance the secret operations of both intelligence services.

The publication cites an internal CIA report that states: an operation called Thesaurus, later renamed Rubicon, was one of the most desperate businesses of its kind in the history of US intelligence. Access to the information obtained with its help was, perhaps, not only the US government and Germany, but also a number of their closest partners. For example, during the Falkland War, Great Britain received information about movements of Argentinean troops through “bookmarks” in Crypto AG systems.

According to some former intelligence officers, in some periods, including the 80s, up to 40% of all secret diplomatic correspondence in the world went through Crypto AG equipment – and the CIA had full access to all intercepted encryptions. Of course, the main opponents of the United States in the Cold War, the USSR and China, did not use this equipment – but many of their partners had it, supplying the USA and Germany with valuable data.

With the spread of mobile communications and the Internet in the 90s of the XX century and later, the value of Crypto AG decreased. The authorities of West Germany refused to partner with the CIA and sold their share in the company to the Americans in the early 90s. But Crypto AG was liquidated only in 2018.

“Nevertheless,” concludes The Washington Post, “the operation with Crypto AG is directly related to modern espionage. Its duration and scope help explain how the United States developed an insatiable appetite for global surveillance, opened in 2013 by Edward Snowden.” this story is also suspected of allegedly existing relations between modern companies and foreign governments, including the Russian Kaspersky Lab, an messenger associated with the UAE authorities, and the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.”


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