In Munich in 1970, representatives of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and their counterparts in the US’s Central Intelligence Agency signed a top-secret agreement. CIA spies would later say they considered the operation, called Rubicon by the BND and Minerva in the United States, the “intelligence coup of the century.” A recent collaboration by the German public broadcaster ZDF, the US’s Washington Post newspaper and Swiss Television has revealed the entire story. According to the report, the German and US foreign intelligence services jointly operated the Swiss company Crypto AG, one of the world’s market leaders in encryption technology, founded by the Swedish inventor Boris Hagelin. Read more: Behind the scenes of Germany’s foreign intelligence service Beginning in 1970, the BND and CIA rigged encryption machines produced by Crypto AG so that they could crack communications. More than 120 countries bought Crypto AG hardware for embassies, administrative offices and government institutions. Read more: What powers do German security forces have? Crypto AG’s customers included Iran, Saudi Arabia and countries in South America and Africa. Only the Soviet Union and China never bought Crypto AG products. Not even employees knew that the company was jointly owned by the international intelligence agencies. The BND… Read full this story
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