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For decades, the CIA read the encrypted communications of allies and adversaries.
washingtonpost.com ^ | Feb. 11, 2020 | Greg Miller

Posted on 02/12/2020 12:18:37 PM PST by ransomnote

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. SNIP

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.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 5eyes; cia; communications; cryptoag; encrypted; fiveeyes; gchq; gregmiller; leakers; nsa; operationrubicon; operationthesaurus; rubicon; spies; spooks; thesaurus; waronthensa; westgermany; zdf
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Records indicate that at least 4 countries (Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) were aware of it and obtained intelligence from it by the US or West Germany.

Countries whose communications were compromised include (but are not limited to) 62 customers: THE AMERICAS, EUROPE, AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, REST OF ASIA, Argentina, Austria, Algeria, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil, Angola, Iraq, Burma, Czechoslovakia, India, Egypt, Chile, Jordan, Greece, Indonesia, Gabon, Colombia, Kuwait, Hungary, Japan, Ghana, Honduras, Lebanon, Ireland, Malaysia, Guinea, Oman, Mexico, Italy, Pakistan, Ivory Coast, Qatar, Nicaragua, Portugal, Philippines, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Romania, South Korea, Syria, Mauritius, Uruguay, Spain, Thailand, Morocco, U.A.E., Venezuela, Turkey, Vietnam, Nigeria, Vatican City, Rep. of the Congo, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zaire, United Nations, Zimbabwe

1 posted on 02/12/2020 12:18:37 PM PST by ransomnote
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To: ransomnote

Amazing what our intel agencies could achieve in the days before they were totally consumed with deposing Trump.


2 posted on 02/12/2020 12:21:30 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog (Patrick Henry would have been an anti-vaxxer)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Before that they put an ineligible Kenyan from Indonesia in the White House.


3 posted on 02/12/2020 12:23:18 PM PST by Lurkinanloomin (Natural Born Citizens Are Born Here of Citizen Parents_Know Islam, No Peace-No Islam, Know Peace)
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To: ransomnote

This story amazes me - first, that it was ever published at all, and in the Washington Post at that! It’s a massive information cache - I recommend reading the entire article!

The CIA was trying to exit quietly in 2017 - 2018 (because Hillary Clinton did NOT win!) and split up the assets for sale (e.g., nothing to see here!). Last month, when asked about the CIA ownership of Crypto, the lead executive of it’s last remaining assets “appeared visibly shaken” and worried about the safety of it’s employees when this information was released.


4 posted on 02/12/2020 12:24:30 PM PST by ransomnote (IN GOD WE TRUST)
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To: ransomnote

Were their prices reasonable?


5 posted on 02/12/2020 12:25:21 PM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: ransomnote

So “the company” ran a large number of commerical ventures: electronics, drug running, all to held their benign overlords achieve world peace.


6 posted on 02/12/2020 12:27:52 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: ransomnote

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/national-security/cia-crypto-encryption-machines-espionage/?itid=hp_hp-top-table-main_crypto-730am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans


7 posted on 02/12/2020 12:28:02 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Truth is hate to people who hate truth.)
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To: ransomnote

For many years it was said that the CIA Airlines AIR AMERICA, was the only government entity to consistently show a profit.
And now we have Crypto AG, looks to have been a profitable venture.


8 posted on 02/12/2020 12:30:51 PM PST by DUMBGRUNT
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To: ransomnote

I printed out the article and was reading it during lunch. I encourage other Freepers to do the same.

It really was quite the intel coup for the CIA and better yet, it didn’t become exposed ‘til after it was shut down.


9 posted on 02/12/2020 12:31:53 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: Fedora; MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

ping


10 posted on 02/12/2020 12:32:24 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: ransomnote

This is not new news.

This is what the wikipedia article looked like last year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Crypto_AG&oldid=897125887

“Le Temps has argued that Crypto AG had been actively working with the British, US and West German secret services since 1956, going as far as to rig manuals after the wishes of the NSA.[13][14] These claims were vindicated by US government documents declassified in 2015.”


11 posted on 02/12/2020 12:32:38 PM PST by FewsOrange
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To: ransomnote

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON


12 posted on 02/12/2020 12:33:13 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Truth is hate to people who hate truth.)
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To: FewsOrange

And here is a story from 2008 https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/01/nsa_backdoors_i.html

and another from 2004 https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram/archives/2004/0615.html#1


13 posted on 02/12/2020 12:36:51 PM PST by FewsOrange
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To: ransomnote
“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.”

The Washington Post writes this as if it's a bad thing.

But thanks to the Walker spy ring, the Soviets had access to all of our naval communications for a long, long time. The Washington Post probably portrayed Walker as a hero.

14 posted on 02/12/2020 12:37:12 PM PST by libertylover (Democrats hated Lincoln too.)
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To: MplsSteve

Couldn’t we say it’s more than a little interesting this terrific IQ asset was shut down and exposed once Trump became POTUS.


15 posted on 02/12/2020 12:37:59 PM PST by gibsonguy
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To: FewsOrange

This is not new news.

This is what the wikipedia article looked like last year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Crypto_AG&oldid=897125887

“Le Temps has argued that Crypto AG had been actively working with the British, US and West German secret services since 1956, going as far as to rig manuals after the wishes of the NSA.[13][14] These claims were vindicated by US government documents declassified in 2015.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is news when the most recent accounts falsely portray this as limited to the Cold War when it was “broken up in 2017” and your cited link is a 5 year old French publication. The links on Wiki are many years old, approx 5 - 15 years old, are largely relegated to foreign press, and pose a certain aspect of “that was back then” when in fact at the end of this article, the CEO of the remaining vestiges of the original organization is now “worried”.

The CIA was trying to exit quietly in 2017 - 2018 (because Hillary Clinton did NOT win!) and split up the assets for sale (e.g., nothing to see here!) to cover its activities. Last month, when asked about the CIA ownership of Crypto, the lead executive of it’s last remaining assets “appeared visibly shaken” and worried about the safety of it’s employees when this information was released.


16 posted on 02/12/2020 12:47:38 PM PST by ransomnote (IN GOD WE TRUST)
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To: ransomnote

We should definitely take this as an object lesson if we wish to let Communist China supply equipment, set up, and run 5G network’s in democratic countries.


17 posted on 02/12/2020 12:50:43 PM PST by rlmorel (Finding middle ground with tyranny or evil makes you either a tyrant or evil. Often both.)
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To: ransomnote

And yet with all that Intel they still couldn’t figure out that Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were Soviet spies for 20 years.


18 posted on 02/12/2020 12:51:27 PM PST by freefdny
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To: freefdny

And yet with all that Intel they still couldn’t figure out that Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were Soviet spies for 20 years.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I believe this information reveals that the CIA orchestrated Ames, Hanssen and many, many crimes world wide. THey had information to halt wars, framing of innocent people, to prosecute guilty - they had access and they used for their own purposes, to support their own operations in overthrowing governments or destroying individuals who got int heir way.


19 posted on 02/12/2020 1:16:09 PM PST by ransomnote (IN GOD WE TRUST)
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To: freefdny

In Hanssen’s case, he was working in FBI counterintelligence. H was essentially looking for himself. Much of his earlier work was attributed to Ames.


20 posted on 02/12/2020 1:21:19 PM PST by Coronal
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