Switzerland Starts Investigating CIA Intercepts Of Secret Correspondence Of 120 Countries
Swiss authorities launched an investigation after stating that the CIA and German intelligence had used a company from Switzerland to monitor secret correspondence of officials in other countries, the Associated Press reported.
The German television company ZDF and the American newspaper The Washington Post reported, citing documents from the CIA and the German Federal Intelligence Service, that U.S. and German intelligence services had been receiving information from the Swiss cryptographic equipment manufacturer Crypto AG since the 1970s.
According to media reports, Crypto AG received millions of dollars for providing access to encrypted communication sessions in more than 120 countries for decades to the German and US intelligence services that owned it.
The list of countries to the secret correspondence of which Germany and the United States have access includes Iran, India, Pakistan, some countries of Latin America and the Vatican. China and the USSR did not use the services of Crypto AG, and the company could not transfer encryption of these countries to Berlin and Washington.
Control over Crypto AG allowed the intelligence to monitor the Iranian mullahs during the American hostage taking in Iran in 1979, Libyan officials after the bombing at the La Belle disco in Berlin, and Argentina during its Falkland War with Great Britain.
In the early 1990s, German intelligence stopped working with Crypto AG, and the CIA bought back its stake in the company. The CIA itself, according to The Washington Post, sold assets to Crypto AG in 2018.