Switzerland is probing reports that the top USA intelligence agency and a German spy service used a Swiss firm's encryption technology to break into other countries' top-secrets. It entered into a deal with the CIA in 1951 and finally, the CIAowned the company in association with West German Intelligence in the 1970s, according to a joint report by Washington Post and German Public Broadcaster ZDF.
"It was the intelligence coup of the century", read the CIA report mentioned in the Post. But the world has known about Crypto AG since at least 1995.
The exclusive reports which revealed the dirty secrets of the agencies revealed that the account was identified as the CIA officer who operated the program and the company officials entrusted to execute it. The BND sold its stake in the company to the CIA in the 1990s, for fear of exposure and reaction violent, but the United States continued to use the equipment for intelligence purposes until 2018.
The Washington Post, which evaluated and analysed the intelligence reports, wrote that governments around the world relied on the Swiss company Crypto AG to encrypt their communications without knowing that the CIA and BND owned half of it and meddled with the technology to hack the encryption.
Diplomats thought they were paying Crypto AG good money for a valuable service: to communicate through a secure channel using cutting edge Swiss technology.
The Swiss government has initiated an investigation into Crypto AG based in Zug after revelations that the encryption company was a front for U.S. intelligence operations. UU. However, the entities who bought the assets are now in a fix as they were in the dark about the CIA-BND connection.
After being told late past year of fresh research about the company, the Swiss government in January appointed a former Swiss Supreme Court judge to scrutinise Crypto's activities "to investigate and clarify the facts of the matter", the defence ministry said in a statement. The country's Federal Council tasked Niklaus Oberholzer, who was a federal judge until the end of 2019, on 15 January to probe the matter. It led to the establishment of two successor companies: Crypto International and CyOne Security AG. Their well-founded suspicions of the company's ties to the West shielded them from exposure, although the Central Intelligence Agency history suggests that USA spies learned a great deal by monitoring other countries' interactions with Moscow and Beijing.
"The events under discussion date back to 1945 and are hard to reconstruct and interpret in the present day context", it added in a statement.
They were allowed to share in some of the secrets generated by Operation Rubicon, which has been described as "the most profitable intelligence venture of the Cold War".
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