WASHINGTON: The CIA read the encrypted messages of about 120 governments, including India and Pakistan, for decades through its secretly-owned Swiss Firm.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and German intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) ran a secret joint operation, codenamed ‘Thesaurus’ initially and ‘Rubicon’ later, to snoop on some countries, including India and Pakistan, according to the Washington Post report.
According to the report, the company, Crypto AG, a Switzerland-based company, entered into a deal with America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1951 and came under its ownership in the 1970s.
A recently-dissolved Swiss firm, Crypto AG, was clandestinely owned by the CIA and BND during a five-decade intelligence coup that brought them both money and valuable information, according to the Washington Post. (The Germans pulled out in the 90s.)
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted the Swiss firm to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret, the Post said.
The company had clients such as Iran, military juntas in Latin America, India, Pakistan and even the Vatican, it said.
However, none of its customers ever knew that the Swiss firm was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence.
This is not the first time that the CIA has been found to be spying on India. In 2013, secret documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden had revealed that the CIA accessed computers of the Indian embassy in Washington DC.
Reporters following up on this story should look at CIA India Swiss Firm the burning question @WashingtonPost inexplicably failed to raise: how the IC transitioned from subverting crypto via foreign cut-outs to corrupting domestic companies like RSA (https://t.co/feAH0oAAOR) (and through them NIST). https://t.co/v4MOAhqQjP— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 11, 2020