For decades, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been reading effortlessly ultra sensitive messages intercepted from all parts of the world. This extraordinary feat was not the consequence of the work of some genius cyber mathematician. Nor was it the result of the agency dominance in the field of super computers, which allegedly have outpaced their most direct rivals by orders of magnitude. The truth is far simpler and quite troubling. The game was rigged.
For half a century, Crypto AG, a Swiss company located in Zug, has sold to more than 100 countries the encryption machines their officials rely upon to exchange their most sensitive economic, diplomatic and military messages. […] And for all those years, US eavesdroppers could read these messages without the least difficulty.
Read the full piece, it’s a heck of a story. Twenty years ago, it could easily have been a Hollywood hit, starring Harrison Ford as an Americanized Hans Buehler. Today, well, a Tom Cruise vehicle? Who can say?
(Link via email from Gautam John.)