The headquarters of Crypto AG, Switzerland.


Alexandra Wey / AP / SIPA

The CIA and the German intelligence services did not control a single Swiss company specializing in encryption, but two, to spy more easily, revealed public television, pushing elected officials to demand an investigation.

In February, a joint investigation by the

Washington Post

, German television ZDF and Swiss German-speaking radio-television SRF, revealed that the CIA in association with the German services had taken control in 1970 of the company Crypto AG, which gave them access to treasures of secret information.

However, a second Swiss company, Omnisec, of smaller size, was used in the same way, revealed the SRF this week.

Until two years ago and its bankruptcy filing, Omnisec sold encryption hardware for voice, fax and data to governments around the world.

Much like Crypto AG, the company's products allowed American and German spies to gain access to exchanges that customers believed to be secure.

"How can such a thing happen in a country that claims to be neutral"

But Omnisec has also sold devices in its OC-500 series to Swiss federal agencies, as well as to the country's largest bank, UBS and other private Swiss companies, SRF further reveals.

A discovery that provoked strong reactions, the Crypto scandal still being very present in everyone's mind.

"This raises the question of espionage even in the country," noted Hans-Peter Portman, an elected member of the Liberal Party on the television channel.

The co-leader of the Socialist Party, Cedric Wermuth called for the opening of a parliamentary inquiry.

“How can such a thing happen in a country that claims to be neutral, like Switzerland?

", He wondered on the channel.

A parliamentary inquiry into the Crypto AG affair concluded in October that Swiss intelligence services profited from CIA and BND control of Crypto but failed to notify the federal government.

Swiss intelligence in the know since 1993

"The Strategic Intelligence Service (SRS), an organization that predated the Confederation Intelligence Service (SRC), had known since 1993 that foreign intelligence services were hiding behind Crypto AG," the report said. also that there was nothing illegal about the collaboration, but judge that the Swiss spies knowingly hidden things from the organizations responsible for overseeing them.

Among Crypto's clients were Iran, the military juntas of Latin America, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya and the Vatican, explains the American daily.

Machines sold to US allies were secure, while others could be cracked by US spies.

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  • Spying

  • United States

  • World

  • Swiss

  • CIA

  • Encryption