Switzerland’s claims to neutrality were always suspect, at least for those with their ears and eyes open. They have now exploded into the open.
On February 11, media outlets—among them the Washington Post, German television ZTE and Swiss state media SRF—reported that a Swiss encryption company had for decades allowed the American spy agency, the CIA, and Germany’s intelligence service, BND, to use its encryption services to listen in on other countries’ ‘secure’ communications.
Was the Swiss government unaware of these operations that went on for decades? Many observers have suggested that it may have been at least tacitly complicit in the secret operation.
The Tribune de Geneve, a Swiss daily, said in an editorial on February 11 that Switzerland which takes pride in its neutral and non-aligned status, “was hosting a quasi-ally intelligence agency.”
The Geneva-based daily went on, Swiss officials “very likely” knew what was going on but “closed their eyes” in the name of neutrality.
How could Swiss intelligence officials not know when CIA and the German intelligence services, BND, acquired control of the Swiss encryption company, Crypto AG in 1970, albeit in a secret deal?
Once they took control, the CIA and BND rigged Crypto supplied equipment to other countries to break their codes and read those government’s secret messages.
Crypto AG supplied devices for encoded communications to some 120 countries from after World War II that lasted until the beginning of this century.
Countries that purchased such equipment included Iran, Pakistan, India and South American governments.
In 1992, Iran arrested a person working for Crypto AG of spying. There much hue and cry in the West about Iran’s allegations claiming these were false. In view of recent revelations, it is obvious Iran was on to something.
It is also not without significance that the Swiss embassy in Tehran represents US interests in the Islamic Republic since the US and Iran do not have diplomatic relations.
How much spying is Switzerland doing for the US while claiming ‘neutrality’?
Crypto AG was liquidated in 2018.
A successor company, Crypto International, owned by Swedish national Andreas Linde, said on its website the story was “distressing”.
The company was now under ‘new ownership’ and had no connections to the CIA or German spy agency, it said.
The Washington Post said another successor company, CyOne Security, also denied any involvement with foreign intelligence agencies.
It should also be noted that the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Germany’s intelligence agencies or Israel’s Mossad are not that smart. When rigged equipment is sold to other countries, it is easy to listen in on their secret communications.
In addition to the US and Germany, other countries that had access to secret data were Israel, Britain and Switzerland itself. So much for Swiss claims of neutrality!
Today, such services are provided by Google, WhatsApp, Facebook and other US-owned Internet services. The CIA has a back channel to all these communications.
People should not fall for WhatsApp’s claims that its messages are secured by end-to-end encryption. There is no such thing as secure communication these days.
Further, the Trump regime’s war against Huawei is not because it has a secret channel to the Chinese intelligence agency. It probably does.
What worries the US is that Huawei will not provide access to the CIA as American companies do, to snoop on people’s communications.