Thu, Feb 13, 2020 - Page 7 News List

CIA secretly owned top encryption firm

SPIES LIKE US:As owners of Crypto AG, US and German spies rigged the company’s equipment to break codes and read messages of foreign governments, reports said

AFP, WASHINGTON

Bernd Schmidbauer, former secret service coordinator for the German government, confirmed the story to ZTE.

“The Rubicon operation clearly contributed to making the world a little safer,” he said.

With online technology, including advanced encryption apps, now more powerful than the kind of machines that Crypto made, the CIA finally sold the company in 2018, the Washington Post reported.

It was broken into two companies. Its Swiss-client business remained in Zug under the new name CyOne, and the international business and company name were taken over by Swedish investor Andreas Linde.

The Swedish company, Crypto International, called the news reports “very distressing.”

“We have no connections to the CIA or the BND and we never had,” the company said in a statement on its Web site.

“We are currently assessing the situation and will be commenting once we have a full picture,” it said.

Swedish Ministry of Defense spokeswoman Carolina Bohren said that the government was informed of the Crypto AG case in November last year and has named a retired federal judge to investigate.

The country has suspended export licenses for Crypto’s successor companies.

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