According to Business Insider, the CIA secretly bought a leading Swiss company that sold encrypted devices and rigged them to spy on clients, according to confidential documents published by The Washington Post and ZDF Tuesday.
Crypto AG, was acquired by the CIA at the height of the Cold War and was the leading provider of encryption services. The company sold gadgets and software to spies, diplomats, military officials, and private companies in over 120 countries for decades.
It boasted hundreds of clients ranging from the Vatican to Iran, generating millions of dollars in profits.
Through a classified partnership with West Germany’s spy agency BND, the CIA designed Crypto AG’s encryption devices in a way that lets the agency easily decrypt and read all messages sent by the company’s clients.
In this way, CIA agents secretly listened in on all communications that used the company’s devices, and the CIA’s leaked report called it “the intelligence coup of the century.”
The CIA maintained control over the company until at least 2008 when the agency’s confidential report obtained by The Post was drafted. Per Business Insider Crypto AG was dissolved in 2018, and the two companies that bought its assets deny any involvement with the CIA.
The original article from Business Insider.
Paul Crespo is a national security expert and communications consultant. As an officer in the US Marine Corps, he served as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at several US embassies worldwide. Paul was also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami and a member of the Miami Herald Editorial Board. He holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. Paul is CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security consultancy, and a Contributor to American Defense News.