US and German intelligence services secretly gathered the classified communications of governments for decades through secret control of an encryption company, according to reports.
The highly-classified programme between the US central intelligence agency (CIA) and Germany’s Bnd federal intelligence service has been detailed in reports by US newspaper, the Washington post, German broadcaster ZDF and Swiss channel SRF.
Swiss Firm, Crypto AG, supplied encoding devices to more than 120 governments from the cold war era up to the 2000s.
But the spies reportedly rigged the devices so they could crack the codes and read the messages and harvested secrets from countries including Iran, India and Pakistan.
In the 1980s, roughly 40% of foreign communications processed by us intelligence officials had been supplied through Crypto’s machines.
Russia and China never trusted the machines, and did not use them.