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- The CIA privately bought a Swiss business that offered encrypted gadgets and rigged them to spy on clients, according to personal documents published by The Washington Post and ZDF Tuesday.
- The company, Crypto AG, offered gadgets and software application to spies, diplomats, military officials, and private companies for years.
- CIA representatives covertly eavesdroped on all interactions that utilized the company’s gadgets, and the CIA’s dripped report called it “the intelligence coup of the century.”
- Crypto AG was dissolved in 2018, and the 2 companies that purchased its properties reject any participation with the CIA.
- Check out Business Expert’s homepage for more stories
In leaked files, recently published by The Washington Post and ZDF, the CIA explains how it managed “the intelligence coup of the century:” for decades, a company that offered file encryption gadgets to more than 120 nations was secretly owned and operated by the CIA itself.
The company, Crypto AG, was acquired by the CIA at the height of the Cold War. Through a classified collaboration with West Germany’s spy agency, the CIA developed Crypto AG’s file encryption gadgets in a manner that let the company easily decrypt and read all messages sent by the business’s clients.
Some details of Crypto AG’s coordination with United States intelligence agencies had been formerly reported– a 1995 examination by The Baltimore Sun revealed that the National Security Firm reached a contract with Crypto AG executives to secretly rig encryption gadgets. Nevertheless, the newly-published CIA report unveils the complete extent of the US’ operation of Crypto AG.
For years, Crypto AG was the leading service provider of file encryption services. It boasted hundreds of customers varying from the Vatican to Iran, producing millions of dollars in revenues. The CIA preserved control over the business till a minimum of 2008, when the agency’s private report obtained by The Post was drafted.
Crypto AG was liquidated in 2018, and its possessions were acquired by two other business: CyOne Security and Crypto International Both have actually rejected any present connection to the CIA, and Crypto International chairman Andreas Linde told The Post that he “feels betrayed” by the discovery.
” Crypto International and Crypto AG are 2 completely different business with no relationship,” a spokesperson for Crypto International stated in a declaration to Business Insider. “Crypto International is a Swedish owned business that in 2018 obtained the brand and other possessions from Crypto AG … We have no connections to the CIA or the BND and we never had.”
A representative for CyOne Security did not instantly react to Company Insider’s demands for remark.
In a declaration to Organisation Expert, CIA press secretary Timothy Barrett decreased to validate or reject the report, saying the company is “familiar with press reporting about an alleged U.S. federal government program and do not have any assistance.”
Crypto AG began selling encryption devices in 1940, marketing a mechanical gadget that was powered by a crank. The CIA apparently acquired the business with a handshake deal in 1951, which was renewed with a deceptive “licensing agreement” in 1960.
In the years that followed, the CIA oversaw technical advances in Crypto AG’s gadgets, shifting to electronic devices. The company supposedly contracted with Siemens and Motorola to update its gizmos.
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The CIA’s security continued through the 1990 s and 2000 s, even as Crypto AG’s revenue started to dwindle. It was ultimately dissolved in 2018 and cost in between $50 million and $70 million, according to confidential current and previous officials estimated by The Post.
Read the full report by The Washington Post and ZDF here
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