Spy scandal: 120 countries have paid billions of dollars for stealing their secrets

a scandal in the intelligence services of the USA and Germany, covering half the world, to discuss today the foreign media. Journalists of the German TV company ZDF and the American newspaper The Washington Post conducted a joint investigation and found that the services of the two countries for 50 years, was cheated of about 120 countries. And helped them in this Swiss company for the production of equipment for the transmission of sensitive information.

Intelligence maneuver of the century — so in the foreign press referred to the cooperation of German intelligence from the American CIA, which for decades was illegally obtained secret information as their allies and opponents.

For the United States, whose reputation was tarnished by Edward Snowden, the story is not new. And the Germans, the purity is not known for. But in the case were involved Switzerland, as a rule, distinguished for its neutrality in political and military confrontation.

“For over half a century, governments around the world have trusted one company to keep secret messages to spies, military and diplomats. But none of them knew that the Swiss company Crypto AG was the secret property of the CIA in a secret partnership with the West German intelligence service. Exploration of these countries, having access to equipment coding machines, the company could easily have cracked the codes used by countries for sending encrypted messages” — writes the newspaper The Washington Post.

the world market for Crypto AG was released during the Second world war, having signed its first contract for the creation of encryption machines for the us military. More — advanced design coding, creating electrotypes and software. High demand for the company’s products have provided just the neutrality of Switzerland.

“more than 100 countries around the world have paid billions of dollars for stealing their secrets. Actually, it was pretty audacious,” says analyst Richard Aldrich.

the number of clients was competing with other, Pakistan and India, the military junta in Latin America, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Austria, Turkey, Libya, Greece, Qatar, Japan, South Korea and even the Vatican. And they are, in fact, paid money to get their secret information eventually fall into the hands of the CIA and German intelligence, who chipped Crypto AG was acquired in 1971 through one of the funds in Liechtenstein. A joint operation was given the code name “Rubicon”.

“Operation “Rubicon” certainly helped to make the world a little safer. And we had, of course, a lot of information that cannot be disclosed,” explains Byrne of Settmour, the former head of the German secret service.

“Rubikon” — especially during the cold war and guarded with special care. To broadcasts from Moscow, neither the Americans nor the Germans did not have access. The USSR, suspecting Crypto AG in relations with the West, decided to install from Switzerland not to purchase, their example was followed by China. However, American intelligence had access to the cipher of those countries with which Moscow and Beijing interacted.

Behind the Iranian coding were following during capture of hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979. Three years later, during a confrontation between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands, the us handed over to London information about the armed forces of the enemy, obtained from the Argentine cipher, which eventually brought the United Kingdom victory. And the coup in Chile found out at the stage of its discussion.

“the CIA could listen to information at the stage of preparation of the coup in Chile. The secret services of the United States was already incredible skills in this field, so they could support and help the accomplishment of the coup,” says Peter Kornbluh, the historian of the archive of US National Security.

However, in the 90-ies the company Crypto AG, was under suspicion: her co-founder was accused of correspondence with the representative of the American security and its trade reprthe representative of the detained in Iran. The Germans, fearing disclosures, had decided to withdraw from “Rubicon” and its share was sold to the Americans, who continued to hide behind the Crypto AG until 2018.

“Our investigation shows that the Americans and Germans in the Swiss administration, government and intelligence services have always been accomplices. The documents also show that the CIA itself says that the investigation against Crypto AG was not properly conducted and was formal,” explains journalist Fiona Endres.

However, now the shadow thrown by the company for the whole of Switzerland, has forced the authorities to stir. Bern intends to investigate. However, journalists in his impartiality could not believe it.