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Swiss intelligence and CIA-Crypto affair ?


Swiss intelligence benefited from CIA-Crypto spying affair

A Swiss parliamentary investigation has revealed that Swiss intelligence service were aware of and benefited from the Zug-based firm Crypto AG’s involvement in US-led spying.

According to the conclusions of a nine-month investigation by the Swiss parliamentary audit committee (GPDel), published on Tuesday, the Swiss intelligence service knew that the US Central Intelligence Agency was behind the Swiss-based Crypto AG as far back as 1993. The report says that Swiss intelligence later collaborated with them to gather information from foreign sources.

The audit committee investigation was prompted by revelations in February by Swiss public television SRF, German television ZDF and the Washington Post that Crypto AG was at the heart of a huge international spying operation led by the CIA, but also involving the German BND spy service.

More than 100 countries bought the encryption devices from the Zug-based company, which did business under the guise of Swiss neutrality. In reality, the firm belonged to the CIA and Germany intelligence service, which could freely read what it encrypted. Information intercepted with the help of Crypto’s devices changed the course of events including the Iran hostage situation in 1979.

Crypto AG never delivered encrypted devices to the Swiss authorities. However, Switzerland has taken advantage of the eavesdropping made possible by these devices according to the report. This was a service to our country said Philippe Bauer, a member of the parliamentary delegation leading the investigation. This was especially the case for the hostage affair in Libya.

The investigation sought to determine who in the Swiss government knew about the affair and when. As part of the investigation, the committee examined how, given the political significance, the Swiss intelligence service and foreign intelligence services were able to jointly use a company located in Switzerland without parliament’s knowledge.

“The fact that this collaboration could have been concealed from the Federal Council for so long also highlights shortcomings in the management and supervision exercised by the latter,” the report states. With this, it says that the highest office in Switzerland shares some responsibility for Crypto’s activities.





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