Sci-tech

US, Germany got secrets via encryption devices sold to 120 nations

US, Germany got secrets via encryption devices sold to 120 nations”

Declassified material published by the Washington Post and German public broadcaster ZDF details the story of what the agency calls the "intelligence coup of the century".

"That could develop into the largest espionage affair in the history of the German Republic", he said, noting that the government must immediately break its silence and initiate an unreserved and comprehensive investigation into these allegations.

Crypto AG has sold its code-making equipment to over 120 countries, . including Iran and India as well as South Korea and Japan. Crypto AG has gained importance at the time of World War 2, where the firm took with the production of code machines. While the BND reportedly used some of the funds to finance its own field operations, the Central Intelligence Agency leveraged its proceeds to buy up competing for cryptography firms, apparently hoping to corner the market and funnel sales into Crypto.

Citing a classified internal CIA history of an operation that was originally called Thesaurus and later Rubicon, the reports said that in the 1980s the harvest from the Crypto machines supplied roughly 40 percent of all the foreign communications that USA code breakers processed for intelligence.

According to the investigative report, the foreign governments apparently paid the United States and West Germany, part of Western bloc before reunification, "good money" to read their most secret communications.

According to one document attributed to the CIA history of the operation, the U.S. foreign intelligence service and its West German counterparts overcame cultural differences and divergent interests "again and again, to fashion the most profitable intelligence venture of the Cold War".

US, Germany got secrets via encryption devices sold to 120 nations

Did CIA spy on India, too? For instance, during the Falklands War, US spies were able to feed intelligence about Argentina's military to Britain. Later, the U.S. registered him as a foreign agent.

The operation had a codename "Thesaurus" which was later changed to "Rubicon" in the 1980s in which they added flaws to the widely sold encryption devices.

The Soviet Union and China, America's main adversaries, were never Crypto customers, wary of the risks of such cooperation.

Furthermore, according to records, at least four countries-Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom-were aware of the operation or were provided intelligence from it by the USA or West Germany. The CIA, however, simply bought up the BND's share afterward and kept the operation running until 2018, when it is thought to have sold off the company's assets. The company was now under new ownership and had no connections to the CIA or German spy agency, it said.

Furthermore, Crypto's products are reportedly still in use in more than a dozen countries around the world.

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