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<nettime> CryptoGate, from CAQ
MediaFilter on Tue, 24 Feb 1998 21:31:07 +0100 (MET)


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<nettime> CryptoGate, from CAQ


            Crypto AG: The NSA's Trojan Whore?

                    by Wayne Madsen

        FOR AT LEAST HALF A CENTURY, THE US HAS BEEN
         INTERCEPTING AND DECRYPTING THE TOP SECRET
        DOCUMENTS OF MOST OF THE WORLD'S GOVERNMENTS

      It may be the greatest intelligence scam of
      the century: For decades, the US has routinely
      intercepted and deciphered top secret
      encrypted messages of 120 countries. These
      nations had bought the world's most
      sophisticated and supposedly secure
      commercial encryption technology from
      Crypto AG, a Swiss company that staked its
      reputation and the security concerns of its
      clients on its neutrality. The purchasing
      nations, confident that their communications
      were protected, sent messages from their
      capitals to embassies, military missions, trade
      offices, and espionage dens around the world,
      via telex, radio, teletype, and facsimile. They
      not only conducted sensitive albeit legal
      business and diplomacy, but sometimes
      strayed into criminal matters, issuing orders
      to assassinate political leaders, bomb
      commercial buildings, and engage in drug and
      arms smuggling. All the while, because of a
      secret agreement between the National
      Security Agency (NSA) and Crypto AG, they might as
      well have been hand delivering the message to Washington. 

      Their Crypto AG machines had been rigged so that when
      customers used them, the random encryption key
      could be automatically and clandestinely
      transmitted with the enciphered message. NSA
      analysts could read the message traffic as easily
      as they could the morning newspaper.

      [...]


>From CAQ #63 http://caq.com/cryptogate


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