'The intelligence coup of the century’ For decades, the CIA read the encrypted communications of allies and adversaries. (1 Viewer)

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SaintForLife

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For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret.

The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.

The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project.

The account identifies the CIA officers who ran the program and the company executives entrusted to execute it. It traces the origin of the venture as well as the internal conflicts that nearly derailed it. It describes how the United States and its allies exploited other nations’ gullibility for years, taking their money and stealing their secrets.

The operation, known first by the code name “Thesaurus” and later “Rubicon,” ranks among the most audacious in CIA history.

“It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concludes. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the U.S. and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries.”


 

samiam5211

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Things like this should never be outsourced to a private company. It would be just as bad to give an individual this type of access as it is for our government to dupe the world into giving it to us.

If we put something up for sale, we will never have control who ends up with it.
 

Nebaghead

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I remember a few years back how the US was tapping the Merkel(sp) phone. Israel spies on us and I believe we still have one of their spies in jail.
 

wardorican

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This story is crazy. I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, go USA! On the other, some of the buyers were allies.
Same.

I'm more, go USA. An ally today could be your enemy tomorrow.

It's an impressive bamboozle. Makes me a bit nervous about finding out that Favebook is secretly owned by the CIA in 50 years....
 

coldseat

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And this is why we're so suspicious of China's 5G network. Because we did it first and know it's possible. Or because we'd rather other countries have our tech so we can keep spying on them. Lol.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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Things like this should never be outsourced to a private company. It would be just as bad to give an individual this type of access as it is for our government to dupe the world into giving it to us.

If we put something up for sale, we will never have control who ends up with it.
I think the theory is sound - since most governments are cyclical, it makes sense to have long term intelligence not subject to political fads/whims
But it’s the practice that gets ya
 

wardorican

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And this is why we're so suspicious of China's 5G network. Because we did it first and know it's possible. Or because we'd rather other countries have our tech so we can keep spying on them. Lol.

Apologies if this crosses a line (the GD or that it is a gif). I just love this scene and it fits.
 

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