BEIJING, March 2 (UPI) — The Swiss government has filed criminal charges against the CIA for allegedly using an encryption firm to spy on secret government communications, the swiss attorney general’s office said on Sunday, according tomedia reports. It comes after reports of Operation Rubicon, through which the CIA and the Federal Spy Agency (BND) have been secretly reading confidential information encrypted using Swiss company Crypto’s technology for decades.
Crypto sells encrypted devices and software, but is also secretly controlled by U.S. and German intelligence agencies, which allow the latter to read encrypted messages at will. The incident is embarrassing for Switzerland, which has always been neutral, and could damage its international reputation, especially if it turns a blind eye to it.
Although Operation Rubicon has been exposed for years, the latest details about its scope and duration were only made public last month by swiss, German and American investigative journalists.
“The Attorney General’s Office confirmed that it had received criminal proceedings filed by the State Economic Affairs Secretariat (SECO) on 2 February 2020 regarding possible violations of export control laws,” the Attorney-General’s Office said in a statement. “SECO is an agency of the Swiss Ministry of Economy.
The statement said the attorney general’s office would review the complaint and confirm the veracity of the Sonttags Zeitung report before deciding whether to initiate criminal proceedings.
A spokesman for the Swiss Ministry of Economy confirmed that they had indeed filed a lawsuit, but declined to give details.
The Swiss government has appointed a former Swiss Supreme Court justice to investigate The Rubicon. He will report on the progress of the investigation by the end of June and will brief the Cabinet.
But parliament is under increasing pressure to investigate, and it is thought they should do so in person to determine who is aware of the matter in Switzerland. (Book)