How the CIA read secret communications of friends and foes for almost 50 Years

Crypto AG, a Swiss company that dominated the global manufacture and sale of encryption devices for decades after WWII, was a CIA-owned concern.

February 13, 2020 by Newsclick

Crypto AG, a Swiss company that dominated the global manufacture and sale of encryption devices for decades after WWII, was a CIA-owned concern. As per the plan, the US’ external intelligence agency had access to encrypted communications of about 120 nations that trusted the firm to provide secure communications systems. 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”. But the world has known about Crypto AG since at least 1995. So why is this a story now? What does it say about the US government? How does it fit into America’s battle against Huawei? How does all this involve India and Pakistan? NewsClick editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha answers some of these questions, while raising a few more.

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