Markus Kompa, Peter F. Müller and Paul Reuvers und Marcus Simons

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Peter F. Müller, investigative journalist; Paul Reuvers and Marcus Simons, Cryptomuseum Eindhoven; Markus Kompa, writer. Peter F. Müller revealed in February a delicate collaboration between BND and CIA for harvesting SIGINT via backdoors. It turned out that this was just the tip of an iceberg.

While researching a documentary about the German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Peter F. Müller came across a top secret document (MINERVA) about a delicate collaboration between BND and CIA. Since 1970 the spy agencies secretly owned and controlled the Swiss based Crypto AG, the world market leader for encrypting devices. They were selling rigged crypto-machines to more then 100 countries in the world and CIA and BND were thus able to intercept and decrypt the diplomatic and military communications from those countries. Peter F. Müller put together an international team of investigative journalists to find out more about this intelligence operation, including Paul Reuvers from the Cryptomuseum in Eindhoven as technical adviser. While the BND is often portrayed as a looser, operation RUBIKON as it was called by the BND was a success story for over half a century. Security expert Prof. Richard J. Aldrich rates the project “as probably the most important intelligence operation in history.” To protect the method the gouvernments of USA and Germany had to pretend blindness even when they learned about war crimes. The revelation in February which was nicknamed #CRYPTOLEAKS raised a political scandal in Switzerland. The story continued when Peter F. Müller revealed a parallel running secret sharing alliance for intercepted information between five European states called operation MAXIMATOR. There is more to come.