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Old 16.02.2020, 09:43
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Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

Well it's all over the news in Switzerland - so it might as well be aired on the forum.
Has Switzerlands reputation for their impeccable neutrality been lost thanks to the
Crypto AG Scandal ?

For decades, US and German Intelligence used Crypto AG encoding devices to spy on
other countries and the revelations this week have provoked outrage in Switzerland.
From the Cold War and right through to the 2000's, Crypto AG sold devices to more
than 120 governments worldwide, with the devices encrypted in such a way that
the US and West German ( now German ) intelligence agencies cold crack the codes
and intercept thousends of messages.

Only the Soviet Union ( now Russia ) and China never trusted the devices.

Rumours have circulated for years but now the revelations are out in the open.
A federal judge is already on the case with Swiss Politicians calling for a Parliamentary
inquiry.

BBC News - Swiss Crypto AG spying scandal shakes Switzerland
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:04
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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Well it's all over the news in Switzerland - so it might as well be aired on the forum.
Has Switzerlands reputation for their impeccable neutrality been lost thanks to the
Crypto AG Scandal ?

For decades, US and German Intelligence used Crypto AG encoding devices to spy on
other countries and the revelations this week have provoked outrage in Switzerland.
From the Cold War and right through to the 2000's, Crypto AG sold devices to more
than 120 governments worldwide, with the devices encrypted in such a way that
the US and West German ( now German ) intelligence agencies cold crack the codes
and intercept thousends of messages.

Only the Soviet Union ( now Russia ) and China never trusted the devices.

Rumours have circulated for years but now the revelations are out in the open.
A federal judge is already on the case with Swiss Politicians calling for a Parliamentary
inquiry.

BBC News - Swiss Crypto AG spying scandal shakes Switzerland
This is definitely not good for the image (or should we say 'illusion') of Swiss neutrality and cannot be excused... but having read about the work that was done I would rather they had worked with the US government and the Germans than with the Russians, China or Middle East. At least it was done with idealogically and liberal Western countries.

But in this story wasn't it all done without any knowledge of the Swiss government? If that is the case then I don't see how it affects Swiss neutrality in real terms, other than of course the reputation of the country which has undoubtedly been damaged as a result of this.

Quote:
They monitored Iran’s mullahs during the 1979 hostage crisis, fed intelligence about Argentina’s military to Britain during the Falklands War, tracked the assassination campaigns of South American dictators and caught Libyan officials congratulating themselves on the 1986 bombing of a Berlin disco.
The world is all shaded of grey and 'lesser of evils'. At some point everyone will have to take sides in some form or other.

Last edited by Chuff; 16.02.2020 at 13:21. Reason: clarification
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:08
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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This is definitely not good and cannot be excused... but having read about the work that was done I would rather they had worked with the US government and the Germans than with the Russians, China or Middle East. At least it was done with idealogically and liberal Western countries.

So if the yankees and ex-nazis* spy on everybody it's a good thing? But if it's the Russians and Chinese - it's unacceptable?

*don't forget the time line of the spying and who and what West Germany was in the 1960s
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:26
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

No matter what role Switzerland as a state, or some Swiss Individuals might have had in this, it will hurt the idea of neutrality for some time until it all blows over again like all these things eventually do.
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:42
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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No matter what role Switzerland as a state, or some Swiss Individuals might have had in this, it will hurt the idea of neutrality for some time until it all blows over again like all these things eventually do.
The whole idea of neutrality is a non-sense. More like a marketing gag. You need to be able to enforce the neutrality and Switzerland is in no such position.

If someone hits you what do you do? You say I am neutral, you are allowed to hit me. You surely get the point.
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:53
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

When it comes to $$$ business is business and so what about the neutrality.
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Old 16.02.2020, 11:19
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

If you really believe in Swiss neutrality you haven't read your history. Switzerland laundered Nazi gold during WW2.



I don't see this any differently. They kept 'neutral' by helping all sides, not by staying out of it...



https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...207-story.html
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Old 16.02.2020, 11:21
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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The whole idea of neutrality is a non-sense. More like a marketing gag. You need to be able to enforce the neutrality and Switzerland is in no such position.

If someone hits you what do you do? You say I am neutral, you are allowed to hit me. You surely get the point.
I disagree. You could declare neutrality and agree not to provide any aid, financial, military or otherwise to either side in a conflict.

Unfortunately history has show this is not the case with Switzerland and in her case, money and business comes first.
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Old 16.02.2020, 11:36
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

Crypto belonged to the US and Germany. It was no longer a Swiss company. Just like Toblerone, Ovomaltine, Syngenta ain't. People should realize that some day.

What will be interesting is what comes out of the investigations.
As there have been suspicions apparently - did the Swiss government check them out? (How much are they able to check out re a foreign company?).
Not even the suspicious employees were able to put their finger on it. How come? How was it done then?
Did people within the Swiss government/secret service know about this? If so, they will be held accountable I expect (this is not the US ).
How well can the Swiss government control a foreign company based here? Do we need new laws in order to do it (better)?

And also, how should Switzerland react to German and US secret services buying a Swiss company, misusing their invention? This is not peanuts, it's a political issue and I wonder if it will be clearly addressed from the Swiss side and will have some consequences.

But I'm on the standpoint that Switzerland now has to investigate and get the facts first before (re)acting. That's how things are done here anyway.
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Old 16.02.2020, 11:37
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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If you really believe in Swiss neutrality you haven't read your history. Switzerland laundered Nazi gold during WW2.



I don't see this any differently. They kept 'neutral' by helping all sides, not by staying out of it...



https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...207-story.html



Swiss fought in WW2 on both sides, including one individual who ran a deathcamp.

Last edited by Sultan of Swing; 16.02.2020 at 12:01.
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Old 16.02.2020, 11:44
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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Crypto belonged to the US and Germany. It was no longer a Swiss company. Just like Toblerone, Ovomaltine, Syngenta ain't. People should realize that some day.

It was a Swiss registered company in Zug owned secretly by the US and Germany via a Lichtenstein puppet.

One should also realize that many Swiss companies including major ones were created and started by people and organizations from outside of Switzerland from time immortal and is nothing new.
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Old 16.02.2020, 11:45
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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So if the yankees and ex-nazis* spy on everybody it's a good thing? But if it's the Russians and Chinese - it's unacceptable?

*don't forget the time line of the spying and who and what West Germany was in the 1960s
I feel like I am repeating myself here but yes, to me it is more acceptable than if Swiss agencies (whether with government knowledge or not) had colluded with countries that are in various ways idealogically opposed or incompatible to our own and who in fact represent a certain level of threat to Western democracy. Also, again stating the obvious, the Germany of today is not the Germany of the 1960's.

Does any of that make it right when talking about Switzerland's supposed 'neutrality'? No, of course not... but I can deal with it better than the alternatives.

Last edited by Chuff; 16.02.2020 at 12:16.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:00
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?
Of course not. It was an act of subterfuge by foreign intelligence agencies on Swiss soil.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:13
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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Well it's all over the news in Switzerland - so it might as well be aired on the forum.
Has Switzerlands reputation for their impeccable neutrality been lost thanks to the
Crypto AG Scandal ?
And in the real world, Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland are all neutral on the side of the West... none of them have impeccable neutrality.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:18
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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Of course not. It was an act of subterfuge by foreign intelligence agencies on Swiss soil.
So in this story it was all done without any knowledge of the Swiss government? If that is the case then I don't see how it affects Swiss neutrality in real terms, other than of course the reputation of the country which has undoubtedly been damaged as a result of this.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:31
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

Neutrality is a position held by the government. From what I understand Crypto is a private company.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:38
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

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I disagree. You could declare neutrality and agree not to provide any aid, financial, military or otherwise to either side in a conflict.

Unfortunately history has show this is not the case with Switzerland and in her case, money and business comes first.
This might work in some cases. For example Switzerland can remain neutral in a conflict between Botswana and Angola.

But what do you do if someone says if you are not with me, you are against me. You see, it's not up to you to declare yourself neutral, it's up to the others not to attack you. And for this they need an incentive/deterrent for not attacking you. So much for neutrality.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:56
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

What's puzzling: If Crypto belonged to (someone from) Lichtenstein, why would Germany pay 1 Million $ to get the employee, Mr. BŁhler, back from Iran? Why did nobody question that then?!
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Old 16.02.2020, 13:11
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

It's a non-story and a non-issue. Switzerland's neutrality does not mean that every company registering or operating in Switzerland must not do any business with any foreign government. If this was the case we might as well shut down large portions of the private sector.

The Swiss government is neutral, was neutral in the 1940s and before that and will continue to remain neutral until further notice.
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Old 16.02.2020, 13:14
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Re: Swiss neutrality a shattered image thanks to Crypto AG Scandal ?

I'm wondering what they will come up with next. Switzerland's image damaged because a Mossad agent uses a Logitech mouse?
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